Pentagon announces extra $775M in weapons to Ukraine

The United States will send another $775 million in missiles, drones, vehicles and mine clearing equipment to Ukraine to help in its war with Russia as the conflict enters a near standstill, the Pentagon announced Friday.

The new assistance package will include 16 howitzers and ammunition, AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance drones, and armored vehicles, among other armaments, a senior Defense official told reporters. 

The package comes at a critical time as Ukraine and Russia battle for control of the eastern part of Ukraine.  

Nearly six months into the war, the two sides are locked in a near operational standstill, with neither Kyiv nor Moscow able to drum up enough ground troops and weapons to turn the course of the conflict, Western officials assess.  

The extra shot of lethal aid could help Ukrainian forces gain the upper hand as Russian troops struggle with losses inflicted by U.S.-made missile systems.  

“I would say that you are seeing a complete and total lack of progress by the Russians on the battlefield,” the senior Defense official said, adding that it’s important to both sustain Ukrainian battlefield successes and enable them to be make gains as the conflict shifts.   

“We want to make sure that Ukraine has a steady stream of ammunition to meet its needs, and that’s what we’re doing with this package.” 

The latest lethal aid follows the $1 billion in weapons and equipment given to the embattled country earlier this month, the largest such tranche pledged since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

The package also pushes the United States past the $10 billion mark for military assistance for Ukraine under the Biden administration, spread out over 19 packages since August 2021. 

A standout in the latest lethal aid tranche is the HARM, which can be fired from Ukrainian aircraft, have a range of at least 30 miles and are designed to find and destroy radar-equipped air defense systems. The missiles have been credited with taking out some of Russia’s most dangerous weapons systems in Ukraine in recent weeks. 

Also included are the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems — the first time the U.S. has provided the drone to Kyiv — which will give Ukrainians “better reconnaissance around the front lines,” the official said.  

In addition, the package will consist of 1,000 Javelins; 36,000 105 mm artillery rounds; mine clearing equipment; 40 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, to allow Ukrainian troops to travel through areas rigged with mines; 1,500 tube-launched optically tracked wire-guided missiles; 2,000 anti-armor rounds; 50 Humvees; tactical secure communication systems; night vision devices; thermal imagery systems; and optics and laser range finders. 

Tags HIMARS Pentagon Russia Ukraine
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