British-led coalition to provide Ukraine with anti-drone systems

LONDON (Reuters) – A British-led group of European countries said on Friday it would provide about 90 million pounds ($115 million) of air defence equipment to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian attacks.

This includes a 56-million-pound contract with the Norwegian defence company Kongsberg to provide vehicle-mounted Cortex Typhon systems, which are used to detect and destroy drones.

“These air defence systems have the capability and flexibility to be rapidly deployed to either protect Ukraine’s civilian population and infrastructure, or be put to use on the frontline,” said Britain’s defence minister Ben Wallace.

The International Fund for Ukraine – a group of countries including Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden – has also agreed two other contracts for air defence equipment, which will be revealed at a later date.

Both Ukraine and Russia have stepped up attacks on each other’s troops recently as Ukraine seeks to dislodge Russian forces that have dug in across southern and eastern Ukraine since their invasion last year.

Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port and naval base, has been repeatedly attacked with missiles and drones after Russia pulled out of an agreement allowing grain shipments from Ukraine’s ports in July.

($1 = 0.7841 pounds)

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by William James)