A bipartisan group of 17 House lawmakers wrote a letter to Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, urging DOD to provide Ukraine with advanced drones to help the country reclaim the territory seized by Russian forces, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
“Ukraine could better confront Russian threats with advanced [unmanned aerial systems] like the MQ-1C Gray Eagle or the MQ-9A Reaper,” the lawmakers wrote in the Wednesday letter reviewed by WSJ.
The legislators said the Pentagon should complete a security assessment of such UAS, which they think would provide Ukrainian forces with long-range precision tracking and targeting and continuous surveillance capabilities against Russian missiles and rockets.
Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.; Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; and Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., were among the letter’s signatories.
General Atomics-built Gray Eagles could provide warfighters real-time intelligence and enable them to fire Hellfire missiles against adversaries. DoD declined to comment on the letter, according to the report.
General Atomics said it has been in talks for months with officials from the U.S. and Ukraine and is ready to train Ukrainian soldiers on how to use the unmanned platforms.