DOD seeks more rapid weapons deliveries to Ukraine

By Tony Bertuca / April 25, 2022 at 2:10 PM

The Pentagon has released a request for information to the defense industry seeking ideas for weapon systems that can be rapidly delivered to Ukraine, with the fastest proposed timeline being “30 days or less” and the longest being “more than 180 days.”

The RFI, released April 22, follows the Defense Department’s delivery to Ukraine of more than 120 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial systems, which have loitering munition capabilities similar to the Switchblade UAS.

The RFI specifically seeks the defense industry’s ideas on anti-armor, air defense, counter-artillery, network communications, and UAS for Ukraine, which is defending itself from an ongoing Russian invasion.

Byron Callan, a defense analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, told clients in a note that he is struck by the RFI’s focus on speed.

“We don’t recall seeing anything like this during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though there were quick cycle programs to address IED (improvised explosive device) threats,” he wrote.

The Pentagon noted last week that the United States has now committed more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including approximately $3.4 billion since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Some lawmakers, however, are pushing for more supplemental funding for Ukrainian military assistance.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken traveled to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv yesterday and pledged another $713 million in military financing for Ukraine and other regional partners, including assistance for Ukraine to transition from Soviet-era weapons to systems currently used by NATO nation.