US To Sell Ukraine 4 Gray Eagle Drones Capable Of Carrying Hellfire Missiles - Reports

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 02nd June, 2022) The Biden administration is planning to sell Ukraine at least four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that are capable of carrying Hellfire missiles and will be used against Russia in the ongoing conflict, Reuters reported.

The Defense Department has been considering the sale of the drones for several weeks and to be authorized it has to be green-lighted by Congress, the report said on Wednesday.

The drone can stay airborne for up to 30 hours and gather vast amounts of intelligence data and carry up to eight Hellfire missiles, the report said.

The Biden administration plans to seek the sale authorization from Congress in the coming days and will make a public announcement after that, the report said.

A Defense Department spokesperson replied there was "nothing to announce."

The MQ-1C is a much larger aircraft with a maximum take-off weight around three times that of the Turkish Bayraktar-TB2, with commensurate advantages in payload capacity, range and endurance, the report cited drone expert Dan Gettinger as saying.

The drones will be equipped with Hellfire missiles by way of a future presidential drawdown authority after training on the aircraft is completed, the report said.

Earlier on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden announced a new Ukraine military assistance package, which includes High Mobility Artillery Rocket System(HIMARS). Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ukraine has given him assurances the weapon system will not be used to fire at targets on Russian territory.

On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk requested help to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. The Russian Ministry of Defense said the operation is solely targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure and the civilian population is not in danger.