US to send high-tech Boeing missiles in latest $2.2B Ukraine package
A new U.S. weapons package for Ukraine worth nearly $2.2 billion will for the first time include a longer-range missile, the Pentagon announced Friday.
The Boeing-made ground-launched small diameter bomb, a bomb-tipped rocket with a range of 90 miles, is included as part of a $1.75 billion Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package. That initiative allows the Defense Department to buy weapons directly from defense contractors to then be sent into Ukraine.
Another $425 million in weapons will come from U.S. stocks, bringing the total U.S. military aid committed to Ukraine to $29.3 billion since Russia first invaded last February.
The ground-launched small diameter bomb will give Kyiv “long-range fires capability that will enable them to conduct operations in defense of their country and to take back their sovereign territory in Russian occupied areas,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.
The most notable part of the latest weapons tranche to the embattled country, the small diameter missile consists of a 250-pound precision-guided bomb attached to a rocket motor and fired from a ground launcher.
As the U.S. military does not currently keep the ground-launched version of the weapon in its inventory, it could be up to nine months before it makes it to the Ukrainian battlefield.
Friday’s package notably does not include Army Tactical Missile Systems, a surface-to-surface missile with a range of up to 200 miles. Ukraine has repeatedly asked the United States for the weapon but has been rebuffed over fears it could be used to strike targets in Russia and escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.
The new lethal aid does include additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, also known as HIMARS, 181 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, two HAWK air defense firing units, Javelin antitank missiles, drones, artillery, ammunition, radars, military gear and medical supplies.
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