GA-ASI CEO pleads with U.S. government to let company send drones to UkraineNews
February 03, 2023
SAN DIEGO, California. The chief executive officer of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), one of the largest manufacturers of military drones in the world, pleaded with the U.S. government in a recent statement to allow the company to send drones to Ukraine to help fight Russia.
Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI, said in the statement that the company had offered to transfer two company-owned training aircraft, plus the ground control station and other hardware, to Ukraine for the "symbolic" price of $1 while training pilots and maintainers "at our expense."
"Factoring in hardware and training that is essentially free, the offer is a remarkable deal with no strings attached," Blue states in the letter. "All that is required is approval from the U.S. government."
The company has long tried to get involved in the war, Blue says.
"From the outset of the Russian invasion, we began looking for options to respond to the requests of Ukrainian forces with our products, including the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle," he writes.
In fact, Ukraine is missing out on its products, Blue adds, calling uncrewed systems "the most obvious and force-multiplying technologies of modern warfare."
However, Blue suggests the company has had continuing frustration with the U.S. government on the issue.
"We have offered to train Ukrainian operators on these systems at no cost to U.S. taxpayers or the Ukrainian government," he writes. "We have offered flexible options and recommendations for delivery. We have discussed the situation endlessly at every level of the U.S. federal government, and with many international partners."