Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) partners have announced that they will jointly provide air defences worth £92m ($116.2m) to protect Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure and front-line personnel.

Ukraine has begun its long-awaited counter-offensive across the south and east of the country, where Russian forces have dug themselves in since last winter.

 The UK Ministry of Defence, in its daily relay of updates on the conflict, said there has been an increased presence of Russian aerial sorties deployed in response to Ukrainian offensive operations.

Russian aerial supremacy remains an ongoing problem for the Ukrainian Armed Forces attempting to break through Russian defences. The JEF believe its latest air defence package will help to prevent Russia’s indiscriminate strikes across the country – against both military and civilian spaces.

The JEF is a UK-led alliance of northern European countries committed to security and prosperity. The force employs each nation’s high readiness forces, deploying them when and as required. The alliance is made up of ten nation states: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The equipment will be procured in the coming months through the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU). JEF will provide radars to help protect from Russian blanket strikes as well as guns and a significant amount of ammunition.

The announcement came as the UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, attended a meeting of defence ministers from the ten JEF nations in Amsterdam on 13 June to discuss continued support for Ukraine.

Direct support for Ukraine counter-offensive

The United States has also announced another round of additional military aid worth $325m. The package includes air defence munitions; HIMARS ammunition; 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds as well as 15 bradley fighting vehciles; 10 Stryker armoured personnel carriers; Javelin anti-armour systems; AT-4 anti-armour systems; stinger aircraft systems among other things.

The American package will help to provide more direct support to the counter-offensive operations in breaking through Russian defences, while JEF air defences will also help to ensure the protection of infrastructure and people across the country.

In a US Pentagon press briefing on 13 June the deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, mentioned the package, stating: “as President  Zelenskyy said, they’re continuing to engage in offensive operations. In terms of this package, this is something that meets the priorities of the Ukrainians. Armour, artillery, air defence – these are all priorities that they’ve laid out.”

One reporter asked Singh whether the department could confirm Russian reports that 16 different types of armoured vehicles that US provided were destroyed.

“I’ve seen the reports but I can’t corroborate some of the video and imagery coming out of that. So we’re going to continue to monitor that but I just wouldn’t be able to confirm the reports,” Singh stated.