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UK to supply Ukraine with drones to take on Putin’s Black Sea fleet

UK to supply Ukraine with drones to take on Putin’s Black Sea fleet

The UK has pledged a further £125 million to supply Ukraine with drones to target Vladimir Putin’s army and the Russian Black Sea fleet.

The investment, on top of £200 million already promised, will help deliver more than 10,000 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including kamikaze drones and anti-shipping capabilities.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement as he visited Kyiv for talks with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.

He urged the UK’s allies to step up their own supplies of weapons to Kyiv.

Mr Shapps said: “I am ramping up our commitment to arm Ukraine with cutting-edge new drones coming directly from the UK’s world-leading defence industries – straight from the factory floor to the frontline. I encourage international partners to join the UK in this effort.

“Ukraine’s Armed Forces are using UK donated weapons to unprecedented effect, to help lay waste to nearly 30% of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“On my third visit to this great country, I was pleased to be able to offer my firm reassurance to President Zelensky on the UK’s unwavering commitment to the brave people and military forces of Ukraine.”

More than 1,000 one-way “kamikaze” attack drones will be supplied and £100 million of the funding package will be spent on anti-shipping capabilities.

Earlier this week Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said drones had been used to sink the Russian patrol ship Sergey Kotov, adding to the losses suffered by the vaunted Black Sea fleet.

Mr Shapps said “drones are changing the course of the war in Ukraine” and the UK will remain Ukraine’s largest supplier of UAVs.

Mr Zelensky said the pair also discussed air defence and long-range strike capabilities “as well as meeting other urgent needs for weapons and ammunition and developing joint weapon production”.