Russia uses new close assault strategy in Avdiivka sector. Serhiy Zgurets' Column
In this update, we'll discuss weaponry, focusing on collaborative projects between the USA and Ukraine. We'll delve into ongoing negotiations in Washington, explore developments around Avdiivka, and cover both military advancements and specific Ukrainian initiatives aimed at safeguarding equipment and positions against enemy drones
Washington agreements and defense cooperation expansion
Despite the lack of support for vote on aid to Ukraine, the United States has approved a new $175 million military aid package, marking the 52nd allocation. Similar to the previous one, it includes air missiles for use with air defense systems, ammunition, and anti-tank systems—essentially, everything crucial on the battlefield. At this pace, I believe we can anticipate having sufficient weaponry for the next quarter.
Today centered around both supplying weapons and expanding arms cooperation between the United States and Ukraine. In Washington, the second and final day of a conference brought together over 350 representatives from various defense companies in both countries. Government officials on both sides explored ways to expedite weapon production for the Defense Forces through collaboration with the United States.
The establishment of an intergovernmental commission was announced, aiming to support Ukraine and other partners entering agreements. Additionally, the US State Department plans to send an adviser to the Ministry for Strategic Industries of Ukraine, aiding in attracting foreign investments and combating corruption. Notably, defense-industrial cooperation with the USA is being considered in terms of licensed production of specific weapons in Ukraine, adhering to technologies and controls – a delicate matter. The focus is also on creating joint ventures in Ukraine and nearby regions, along with project implementation.
The White House announced that Ukraine has received technical documentation for producing air defense systems using the FrankenSAM projects. These urgent initiatives involve combining Soviet air defense platforms with Western missiles, including the BUK complexes running low on missiles. Simultaneous production in Ukraine and the USA aims to hasten deployment, bolstering air defense. Each project holds great importance for Ukraine.
Adding to this, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has reached out to the United States to expand its arsenal, as reported by Reuters. The list includes familiar items like Abrams tanks, artillery ammunition, F-16 fighters, and long-range ATACMS systems. Notably, there's a new addition — the THAAD anti-missile defense system from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space. Capable of destroying ballistic missiles within a 200 km range, this system could significantly enhance Ukraine's anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense capabilities.
New F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft are on Ukraine's wish list due to their dual engines, offering more power compared to the F-16. Australia reportedly considered providing around 40 of these aircraft. The desire for Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, American military transport Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, and various unmanned systems has also been expressed by Ukraine.
From Ukraine's perspective, this list makes sense as it focuses on strengthening anti-missile defense, enhancing offensive capabilities, and bolstering airspace control. However, the response from the American side is still unknown, and details are awaited.
Currently, it's crucial for the United States to approve a military aid package for Ukraine totaling $61 billion for the next year. The decision is entangled in internal political and electoral struggles between Republicans and Democrats. Yet, I am confident that this decision will eventually be approved. The stability of defense in Ukraine is seen as vital for Europe, NATO, and American units in the European sector, making assistance to Ukraine a strategically logical move for the United States.
New developments in the Avdiivka direction
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported over 90 clashes in the past day, marking a significant increase. Among these, the Defense Forces successfully repelled 34 enemy attacks in the Avdiivka region, where persistent efforts were made to encircle the settlement.
The enemy persists in offensive actions from various directions. North of Stepove, Ukrainian forces launched counterattacks that pushed back the enemy. Along the railway to the north, the Russian Federation seeks to expand its coverage of Avdiivka. Despite partial advancements in the industrial zone, there is currently no further progress. Simultaneously, the enemy employs armored vehicles and aircraft in an ongoing attempt to exert pressure on our positions.
Military serviceman Andrii Shyshuk, also known as Sievier, mentioned that the enemy deploys small groups of five individuals for assaults, utilizing dense fire in an attempt to approach and infiltrate positions, but their efforts often fall short.
Explaining the tactic, he stated, "The group almost reaches the shelter of our position, gets as close as possible to initiate close-range fire, and someone attempts to flank from the side."
In response to the Ukrainian President's call to reinforce fortifications, Shyshuk commented, "This needs to be carried out, without a doubt, by specialized units—engineering units, not assault units. It's good that attention has been drawn to this, but it must be an ongoing effort."
Ukrainian manufacturer is testing an electronic warfare (EW) system
Yuriy Momot, Deputy General Director of Piranha-Tech, discussed the unique Piranha AVD 360 EW complex.
"Presently, we are conducting tests on various military vehicles, determining optimal attachment points for easy installation and removal as needed. However, we're not revealing the installation process yet. The system is designed to operate on diverse equipment, including not only cars but also tanks and armored personnel carriers. Our focus is on securing the attachment without altering the structure and providing maximum vehicle protection. We've achieved a range of 500 km," explained Momot.
He mentioned that the military visited the company, reviewed the design documentation, and assessed the company's capability to manufacture equipment on a larger scale. Ongoing negotiations will determine the next steps.