The UK will provide 17 specialist firefighting vehicles to Ukraine’s fire and rescue services, primarily sourced from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Defence Fire and Rescue, with one provided by the Welsh Government.
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.
The specialist vehicles – Rapid Intervention and Major Foam Vehicles – were delivered from locations around the UK to RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire to allow RAF personnel to conduct the required preparations before their onward movement to Ukraine.
In preparation of the vehicles’ arrival in Ukraine, members of the Ukrainian Military Fire Service conducted a week’s training at RAF Wittering. This was designed and delivered by the RAF and Defence Fire and Rescue to familiarise the Ukrainians on the vehicles before they operate them for real.
This equipment is the latest in the UK’s programme of support for Ukraine, over 500 days after Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion. The UK committed £2.3 billion funding for military aid to Ukraine in 2022 and the Prime Minister has confirmed that this figure will be matched in 2023.