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 U.S. to modify radar systems before shipping them to Ukraine, - The Wall Street Journal

Advanced radar systems being shipped to Ukraine to counter artillery strikes by pro-Russia separatists have been modified to prevent them from peering into Russia.

This is reported by The Wall Street Journal citing U.S. officials, Censor.NET reports.

President Barack Obama signed an order on Sept. 29 to give Ukraine two radar systems worth $10 million each. U.S. officials said this week that the systems would arrive at Ukraine's Yavoriv training ground by mid-November.

Read more: Pentagon to send better radar to Ukraine, - Wall Street Journal

But with a cease-fire holding in eastern Ukraine and artillery attacks significantly reduced, the U.S. doesn't want the equipment to antagonize Russia. The modifications are supposed to ensure that Ukrainian forces don't escalate the current conflict by using the new systems to counter fire originating from Russian territory, officials said.

The modifications drew fire from a leading Republican critic of the Obama administration, who called it a misguided attempt to mollify Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the modifications to weaken the radar were symptomatic of a "delusional view" by the Obama administration that Mr. Putin will modify his behavior in Ukraine.

Read more: Putin is thug and bully, US must massively respond to his actions, - Senator McCain

"This is part of their continuing effort to appease Vladimir Putin," he said. "It sends a signal to Russia and Ukraine that we are not willing to seriously confront Vladimir Putin's aggression."

Republicans, and some Democrats, have been urging the Obama administration to provide more systems to Ukraine, including Javelin antitank missiles. The Obama administration has been unwilling to provide any equipment that could be construed as offensive weaponry.

U.S. officials said the new radar are likely to provide a tempting target for any Russian troops active in eastern Ukraine. They are worried that Russian forces will target the radar, either seeking to jam or destroy the equipment, and will train vetted Ukrainian forces on how to minimize chances it can be detected by Russian forces.

Read more: Russia proves it's status of major danger to the world, and we have to be ready to repulse the aggressor, - NSDC Secretary Turchynov

U.S. Army officials have identified six surplus Q-36 systems currently stored in a Pennsylvania depot.

If Congress approves additional money and the Ukrainians show that they can use the systems effectively, officials said, the transfer of the other four would be considered.






 
 
 
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