UK confirms transfer of advanced weapons to Ukraine
The UK Defence Ministry has confirmed that Britain is supplying Ukraine with modern laser-guided Brimstone 2 missiles, shrugging off Moscow’s repeated warnings about the risk of triggering a direct conflict between NATO and Russia.
The ministry posted a video clip on Twitter on Sunday, showing at least one pallet of the high-precision missiles being delivered from the Royal Air Force Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire to an undisclosed airfield. The missiles were part of a UK “aid package” for Ukraine, the ministry said, confirming earlier media reports of such deliveries taking place for some time.
“This aid has played a crucial role in stalling Russian advancements,” the ministry claimed in its tweet.
🎬 As part of its aid package, the UK has provided Brimstone 2 missiles, a precision-guided missile, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This aid has played a crucial role in stalling Russian advancements. 🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/SpVnWqeiVm— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) November 27, 2022
UK forces reportedly began supplying earlier versions of the Brimstone missile to Ukraine last spring. The Brimstone 2 is far more advanced than its predecessor, offering about triple the range. It’s designed for firing from an aircraft to attack targets on the ground. However, Ukrainian ground troops have used the missile on adapted trucks, mostly targeting tanks and other armored vehicles.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a new military aid package worth £50 million ($60 million) during his visit to Kiev earlier this month. Each Brimstone 2 missile reportedly costs about £175,000.
The Kremlin has warned that as the US, UK, and other NATO members supply increasingly advanced weaponry to Ukraine, they are prolonging the conflict and risking a direct confrontation with Russia. Moscow characterizes the conflict as nothing short of a proxy war against the US and NATO, while President Vladimir Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine.”