EN|RU|UK
  40755

 Pentagon to send better radar to Ukraine, - Wall Street Journal

The Pentagon is moving toward providing Ukraine with bigger, longer-range radar to help it counter artillery being used by Russia-backed rebels, as U.S. military officials signal a growing willingness to bolster the country’s defenses.

This was reported by Wall Street Journal, Censor.NET informs.

The proposal still requires approval from the White House, which is considering another package of nonlethal assistance for Ukraine. The deliberations are taking place alongside rising pressure on Washington to better help Kiev counter a rebellion that continues to regularly claim lives, despite a five-month-old cease fire.

Ukraine's military "would benefit from having more counter-battery radar as well as more capable radar," one senior Obama administration official said.

The administration decided early this year against sending Ukraine deadly weaponry, such as artillery or portable air-defense systems, for fear of escalating the more than year-old conflict or provoking Russia. But administration officials say that the new radar doesn't count as offensive or lethal aid, and so wouldn't require a policy shift.

Providing the counter-battery radar-which uses the trajectory of an incoming projectile to determine where it was fired from-would meet a request of Ukrainian leaders for capabilities to look deeper into rebel-held territory, and to more accurately fire back.

Read more: Top U.S. general backs giving lethal weapons to Ukraine

Ukrainian officials say their soldiers are being killed or injured every day by artillery fire. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said some 140 attacks, from tank, mortar and artillery fire, had been carried out by separatists during the previous two days.

Senior U.S. military officials have repeatedly said these are artillery pieces provided by Russia and manned by Russians.

Moscow has repeatedly denied sending weaponry or active troops over the border to the separatists, and has warned that the Kremlin would interpret lethal military aid sent to Ukraine by the West as a threat to Russia.

The U.S. has already provided Ukraine with 20 lightweight counter-mortar radar units, with another 10 due to be transferred by the end of this year, officials said. Those units have a range only of about 6 miles. Other nonlethal aid such as medical kits, night-vision goggles and Kevlar vests has also been sent.

The U.S. Army is now looking to provide what is known as AN/TPQ-36 and 37 Firefinder radar to Ukraine, according to U.S. officials, with ranges of between 15 and 31 miles. Pentagon officials said they were already seeking available units and laying the groundwork to start shipping them, pending a White House decision.

 
 
 
 up