UK to supply Ukraine with 17 specialist fire engines
The UK will supply Ukraine with 17 specialist fire engines as the war-torn country continues to defend itself against the Russian invasion.
The Rapid Intervention and Major Foam Vehicles, sourced from the Royal Air Force, Defence Fire and Rescue and the Welsh Government, are due to be delivered in the coming weeks.
The Ukrainian military fire service has already conducted a week’s training at RAF Wittering to familiarise themselves with the equipment in preparation.
Last month the Welsh Government revealed it was donating an airport fire truck to Kharkiv Airport in Ukraine in response to an appeal after a missile attack destroyed the airport’s original vehicle.
Following a Russian attack on the airport it was forced to halt operations in February 2022.
Two months later the airport was struck by a missile attack which left one of its fire trucks damaged beyond repair.
As the city and oblast rebuilds and recovers from the destruction caused by the conflict, an appeal was launched in February asking for assistance to replace the damaged vehicle.
St Athan airfield had a surplus of fire trucks after a capital asset renewal programme, and following discussions with the supplier of these specialist vehicles, it was found that the surplus vehicle at St Athan would meets the needs of the airport.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething authorised the donation on behalf of the Welsh Government.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the vehicles would boost the country’s ability to protect its infrastructure amid the Kremlin’s campaign of missile and drone attacks.
They were delivered from locations around the UK to the Cambridgeshire military base, where personnel are inspecting and preparing them before their onward journey to Ukraine.
Due to arrive in the coming weeks, the urgently-needed equipment will help bolster Ukraine’s ability to respond to damage caused by Russia’s continued use of cruise missiles and one-way attack drones against Ukrainian infrastructure.
Mr Wallace said: “These specialist firefighting vehicles will boost Ukraine’s ability to protect its infrastructure from Russia’s campaign of missile and drone attacks and continue our support for Ukraine, for as long as it takes.”
Defence chief fire officer Sim Nex said: “The Defence Fire and Rescue family are extremely proud of the specialist support which we have been able to facilitate.
“We are confident that the equipment provided to date, and associated training, will directly enhance firefighting capability, as we consider further opportunities to support the Ukrainian Military Fire Service moving forward.”
Air Commodore Jamie Thompson, commander of Global Enablement, said: “Support to Ukraine, through training and the provision of equipment, remains a priority of RAF Global Enablement. We are proud to work alongside our allies in this effort, supplying specialist equipment and training to assure the safety of the Ukrainian people.”
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