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Senators Ask DOD to Supply Gray Eagle Drones to Ukraine

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A bipartisan group of 16 senators called on the Department of Defense to provide Ukraine with MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft systems to support the Eastern European country’s fight against Russian invasion.

The lawmakers led by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., made the request through a Tuesday letter addressed to Lloyd Austin, secretary of DOD and a two-time Wash100 awardee.

The MQ-1C’s short training timeline of 27 days and availability for transfer present a profound near-term upgrade to Ukraine’s military,” the senators wrote.

According to the letter, the General Atomics-built Gray Eagle drone could provide long-range fires capabilities that could help Ukraine counter Russian forces and recover its occupied territory.

The legislators also ask the DOD secretary several questions, including the operational advantages of Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine’s armed forces and specific risks of conflict escalation related to the use of the UAS. Responses are due Nov. 30.