U.S. drone sale to Ukraine paused amid fears its surveillance equipment might fall into enemy hands

MQ-1C Gray Eagle

As Reuters reports citing some sources familiar with the matter, the Biden administration’s plan to sell four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones is set on pause due to the fears that some sensitive technologies might fall into the hands of russians in case drones will be destroyed over the enemy territory.

The plan to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones was evaluated since March 2022 and it had been previously approved by the White House, but during a deeper review by the Pentagon’s Defense Technology Security Administration, the technical objection to the sale was raised.

“Technology security reviews are a standard practice for the transfer of U.S. defense articles to all international partners. All cases are reviewed individually on their own merit. Through the established process, national security concerns are elevated to the appropriate approving authority,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough.

The final decision is not set yet and now the matter is being reviewed higher up the chain of command at the Pentagon, but the timing of any decision is uncertain.

One of the possible solutions might be changing modern radar and sensor payloads to some older versions, but this also will take time.

In case the decision to move forward will take a place, Congress will have a chance to block it, but that’s seen as unlikely.

Previously those four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones 10M$ each were originally slated for the US Army.

The MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones can be armed with Hellfire missiles and can provide a significant advantage to the Ukrainian Armed Forces facing russian aggression.

Source: Reuters