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UK, Norway launch new naval coalition to support Ukrainian Navy

The maritime capability coalition will support Ukraine's two newly acquired ex-Royal Navy Sandown-class mine countermeasure vessels, Chernihiv  (ex-HMS Grimsby)  and Cherkasy (ex-HMS Shoreham ), which were commissioned into service in July 2023. Cherkasy is pictured during the flag-raising ceremony, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland. (Armed Forces of Ukraine)

The United Kingdom and Norway have established a maritime capability coalition that aims to support the development of the Ukrainian Navy and strengthen its ability to operate at sea.

Announced by UK Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps in London on 10 December, the new coalition will supply Ukraine with ships and vehicles as well as provide long-term support in the form of training, equipment, and infrastructure to bolster security in the Black Sea.

The initiative was agreed during recent meetings of the 50-nation-strong Ukraine Defense Contact Group and forms part of a series of ‘capability coalitions' to strengthen Ukraine's operations in other domains, including on land and in air.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the maritime capability coalition is intended to be a long-term endeavour that will help transform Ukraine's navy over time into a service that is more compatible with Western allies and more interoperable with NATO.

“This capability boost marks the beginning of a new dedicated effort by the UK, Norway, and our allies to strengthen Ukraine's maritime capabilities over the long term, enhancing their ability to operate in defending their sovereign waters and bolstering security in the Black Sea,” Shapps said.

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