Britain to send 200 air defence missiles to Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain is sending around 200 air defence missiles to Ukraine to help protect civilians and infrastructure from Russian drones and bombing, the British ministry of defence said on Friday.

The shipment comes as Russia unleashed one of its biggest missile attacks on Ukraine of the war, according to Kyiv, killing 18 civilians and wounding dozens others.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is testing Ukraine’s defences and the West’s resolve, hoping that he can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. But he is wrong,” British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.

“Now is the time for the free world to come together and redouble our efforts to get Ukraine what they need to win.”

The air defence missiles, manufactured in Britain by defence contractor MBDA, are designed to be launched from aircraft including Typhoon and F-35 fighter jets, the defence ministry said.

Britain has committed a total of 4.6 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) in military support for Ukraine over two years.

($1 = 0.7850 pounds)

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)