WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday approved additional military assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces [June 23rd], deciding to send warships. A total of 18 warships will be sent to Ukraine as follows: six 40ft long warships, two small river vessels up to 35ft long to guard river areas and ten medium sized patrol boats. The information was confirmed by a senior US State Department official, quoted by USNI News.
Congressional consent is not required for the delivery of such naval equipment. Experts say it was a decision of the President of the United States, which suggests that it is actions of the United States Department of Defense under the direction of the President. However, there is no official information on the exact provenance of these patrol boats and river boats, as well as the six warships.
40 foot long warships are not large warships. The United States intended to donate large warships to Ukraine, and a similar proposal was submitted to Congress but was later rejected. UNSI News source says donated naval fuel vessels will have limited use [whatever that means]. It is unclear whether the Harpoon anti-ship missile systems donated by Denmark will be installed on the new ships, or whether Ukraine will continue to use them as “tailor-made” coastal anti-ship missiles. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the United States also approved the dispatch of Harpoon coastal launchers.
The Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues. A senior State Department official did not specify the number of Russian Navy ships involved in the blockade. The blockade of the Black Sea by Russian warships also has a side effect: it cuts off Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov.
On Friday, defense analyst HI Sutton tweeted satellite images of at least seven Russian warships and a submarine in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea [June 24th]. The submarine is Kilo class and the ships are patrol boat 22160, Alligator class landing ship 1171, three Ropucha class 775 landing ships, Grisha-III class light frigate 1124, landing ship Pyotr Morgunov 11711 [the largest of the seven].
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