ST LOUIS, Missouri, June 17 (Reuters) – The Biden administration’s plan to promote 4 giant, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused on the worry its refined surveillance gear would possibly fall into enemy palms, in accordance with two folks accustomed to the matter.
The technical objection to the sale was raised throughout a deeper evaluate by the Pentagon’s Protection Know-how Safety Administration charged with retaining excessive worth know-how secure from enemy palms. Beforehand the plan, which has been circulating since March, had been authorised by the White Home, three folks stated.
The plan to promote Ukraine 4 MQ-1C Grey Eagle drones that may be armed with Hellfire missiles for battlefield use in opposition to Russia was first reported by Reuters earlier in June. learn extra
The objection to the export of the drones arose resulting from issues the radar and surveillance gear on the drones may create a safety danger for the USA if it fell into Russian palms.
The sources stated this consideration had been neglected within the preliminary evaluate however got here up in conferences on the Pentagon late final week.
“Know-how safety evaluations are a typical follow for the switch of U.S. protection articles to all worldwide companions. All instances are reviewed individually on their very own benefit. By way of the established course of, nationwide safety issues are elevated to the suitable approving authority,” stated Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough.
The choice on whether or not or to not proceed with the deal is now being reviewed larger up the chain of command on the Pentagon, however the timing of any choice is unsure, one of many folks a U.S. official stated on situation of anonymity.
One resolution to maneuver the sale ahead could be to swap out the prevailing radar and sensor bundle for one thing much less refined, however that might take months to finish, one of many sources.
If the case to promote the drones is allowed to progress, Congress could be given an opportunity to dam it, although that was seen as unlikely.
The 4 Common Atomics-made Grey Eagle drones have been initially slated to go to the U.S. Military, folks accustomed to the method stated.
Based on Military funds paperwork, the Grey Eagles value $10 million every.
Reporting by Mike Stone in St. Louis;
Enhancing by Marguerita Choy