Updated May 29th, 2024 at 17:24 IST

Sweden to Donate $1.23 Billion in Military Aid to Ukraine

The military aid package, the largest Sweden has donated thus far, will include air defence, artillery shells and armoured vehicles.

The aid package will not include the Swedish-built JAS 39 Gripen jets though they may be sent to Ukraine at a later date, | Image:AP
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Copenhagen: The Swedish government said Wednesday that it will donate 13 billion kronor ($1.23 billion) in military aid to Ukraine, in the largest package of assistance Sweden has so far donated. “It consists of equipment that is at the top of Ukraine’s priority list,” Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch said. It includes air defence, artillery ammunition and armoured vehicles.

Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonsson reiterated that the country has ruled out for now sending any Swedish-built JAS 39 Gripen jets to Ukraine, saying the focus on the Ukrainian side is on implementing a F-16 fighter jet programme.

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Several countries have said they want to donate F-16s. On Tuesday, Belgium pledged 30 F-16 jets to Ukraine.

Jonsson said Sweden “is still working on possibly being able to contribute with the Gripen system later.”

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The donation also includes two Swedish-made SAAB ASCC airborne early warning and control airplanes, which Jonsson said would have the “greatest effect on the Ukrainian air defence” because it would complement and reinforce the promised donations of American F-16 fighter jets.

“You can identify incoming cruise missiles, you can identify drones and identify targets both on land and at sea,” he said.

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“The overall assessment is that a donation of the ASCC 890 radar reconnaissance and command aircraft would be the most impactful for the Ukrainian Air Force right now,” Jonsson added.

The donation of the two airborne early warning and control airplanes means “a temporary decline in the Swedish defence capability,” Jonsson said.

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The donation also includes a missile system that can be used both on aircraft and in ground-based air defense systems, he said. It will be donated to Ukraine through cooperation with the United States, Jonsson said.

The support package is the 16th from Sweden since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

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Published May 29th, 2024 at 17:24 IST