Ukraine is using US-provided anti-radiation missiles to take out some of Russia’s weapons systems, according to a report.
This was revealed by an unnamed Ukrainian fighter pilot in an interview with The Hill which was published on Saturday.
The pilot, who identifies himself by his call sign of “Juice,” said the missiles are just one part of a complicated strategy to expel Russian forces from the country.
He claimed the Ukrainian air force has recently used anti-radiation missiles to suppress Russian air defense systems.
The Pentagon has supplied large amounts of weaponry and ammunition to Ukraine. The US military has also confirmed the delivery of American anti-radar missiles to Ukraine in a bid to facilitate the targeting of Russian radar systems by Ukrainian warplanes.
US Defense Department's Undersecretary for Policy Colin Kahl declared at a press briefing on Monday that Pentagon had shipped "a number" of the missiles to Ukraine without elaborating on how many and when they had been sent.
Citing a military official, however, CNN identified the type of the missile sent as "the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM)," marking the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged sending the previously undisclosed missile to Ukraine.
Kahl said the missiles have been included in several recent lethal aid packages from the United States and make existing Ukrainian capabilities more effective.
“It’s a great support for us. Actually, it’s one of the most advanced weapons that we have at the moment,” Juice said, but he stressed that the missiles are only “one part of the complex mission.”
“They are very expensive, and we have a limited number,” Juice said, adding that they have to be selective in their targeting, taking out the Russian army’s “most dangerous” long-range missile systems.
Ukrainian media reports have claimed that US anti-radiation missiles were involved in the destruction of at least five Russian anti-aircraft artillery systems, four S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems and a Pantsir-S1 missile system.
Kahl unveiled the shipment of the missiles to Ukraine in a briefing about Washington's latest $1-billion weapons package for Kiev, the largest package of US weapons to date.
With the latest package, the US has committed to sending Ukraine a total of $9.1 billion in military assistance since the outset of Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine in late February.
The package was focused on supplying ammunition for some of the key weapon systems the US has so far shipped to Ukraine. It includes the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which the Ukrainian military has used to target what the US media describe as Russian command posts, ammunition depots, and more, as well as M777 howitzers, which have been a critical part of the battle in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
The development came amid US press reports that Washington is planning to ship to Ukraine an additional $5.5 billion in military aid as it ramps up support for Kiev in its war with Russia.