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US may give deadlier Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine for use against Russian forces

US President Joe Biden has agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced rocket systems (Image Courtesy: Twitter/@expatua)

The Biden administration plans to sell Ukraine four state-of-the-art Gray Eagle drones which can carry more powerful laser guided Hellfire missiles for use against Russian forces, according to an exclusive report filed by Reuters news agency from Washington.  

Ukraine’s forces have until now been using smaller drones with a shorter range such as AeroVironment, Puma AE and the Turkish Bayraktar-TB2 against Russian forces.

The Gray Eagle represents a quantum leap in technology because it can carry a heavier payload of 8 Hellfire missiles that have the capacity to destroy tanks on the ground as well as helicopters and slow moving fixed-wing aircraft in the air. The drone also has the capacity to fly over 30 hours which gives it a longer range.

However, the Reuters report also states that the sale of the Gray Eagle drones could still be blocked by Congress in a last-minute reversal of policy.

US President Joe Biden has agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced rocket systems that can strike with precision at long-range Russian targets as part of a $700 million weapons package.

In a New York Times op-ed published Tuesday, President Biden said Russia's invasion of Ukraine will end through diplomacy but the United States must provide significant weapons and ammunition to give Ukraine the highest leverage at the negotiating table.

"That's why I've decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine," Biden wrote.

Biden told journalists that the US would not give Ukraine rocket systems that can strike targets in Russia.

Ukraine has been asking allies for longer-range missile systems that can fire a barrage of rockets to hit back at the advancing Russian troops.

However, Russia has accused the USA of “adding fuel to the fire” by supplying more arms and ammunition to Ukraine.

As a sequel to the US decision, Russia's nuclear forces are holding drills in the Ivanovo province, northeast of Moscow, the Interfax news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Wednesday.

Some 1,000 servicemen are exercising in intense manoeuvres using over 100 vehicles including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, according to the report.

Also read: Stop spreading rumors about Putin's health, Russian foreign minister urges western media