The Joe Biden administration is preparing to send equipment to Ukraine that will convert “dumb bombs” into “smart bombs,” multiple unnamed officials told the Washington Post. The White House is reported to be in discussions about sending Kiev other advanced weapons, including the Patriot air defense system.
The senior officials said Washington is now considering whether to provide Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) to Ukraine. The Boeing-made kits can convert bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds into precision-guided weapons. The Post reported it is unclear if Biden has signed off of the plan.
Sending JDAMs to Ukraine would mark a significant escalation in US support for the war-torn nation. Moreover, in a separate report on Wednesday, the Post noted the White House is also considering Patriot air defense systems for Kiev. The Patriot interceptor missiles are produced by Raytheon – the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and a long line of Pentagon officials before him.
Moscow has vowed to destroy any Patriot batteries deployed to the Ukrainian battlefield, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warning that the air defense systems would be treated as legitimate targets. Russia’s embassy in Washington, meanwhile, said the decision to send Patriots would be ”yet another provocative step by the [US] administration that may lead to unpredictable consequences.”
”Washington’s strategy causes enormous damage not only to Russian-American relations, but also creates additional risks for global security,” the embassy added, insisting ”It is the United States that is responsible for the prolongation and escalation of the Ukrainian conflict.”
While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov previously said his country would seize additional Ukrainian territory should Washington and its allies supply longer-range weapons to Kiev, the United States has largely ignored the warning. Last Friday, an unnamed Pentagon official told the Times that the US is now less concerned that Moscow would significantly escalate the conflict in response to Western aid, suggesting the White House may have given Ukraine a green light to use American arms for strikes deep inside Russia.