US firm to Kiev: Buy two drones for 1$
It would normally cost Kiev several millions to purchase only one piece of the MQ-9A Block 1 version, but the purchase comes with a catch.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that weapons manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) said it is providing Ukraine with the opportunity to purchase two MQ-9 Reaper US combat drones for $1.
The firm's stated purpose is to assist Kiev with defending itself "as it prepares for an expected Russian offensive" in light of the war.
However, this 'deal of a lifetime' comes with a hefty catch.
"The deal would require Kiev to spend about $10 million to prepare and ship the aircraft to Ukraine, and about $8 million each year for the maintenance and sustainment of the older-model drones, which currently aren’t being used in Ukraine," the report said.
One piece of the MQ-9A Block 1 version that GA-ASI offers Kiev would normally cost several millions, the report states.
Over the past year, the US provided Kiev with more than 700 smaller drones.
The MQ-9 Reaper is argued to be a game-changer as it has "significantly longer ranges, speeds and capabilities."
Since the start of the war, the US has committed over $26.7 billion worth of security and military assistance to Ukraine.
Earlier today, Reuters reported that the US is readying an upcoming assistance package to Kiev worth over $2 billion, which is expected to include this time longer-range rockets and other military equipment.
These longer-range missiles will be delivered to Ukraine for the first time, after several months of rebuffing Kiev's demands to provide it with munitions that can strike deeper into Russian territory.
Yesterday, US President Joe Biden told reporters that the US will not be sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, which Ukraine's leaders have said are at the top of their latest weapons wish list.
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