Home Americas Harpoon launchers, more howitzers in new $1B US aid package for Ukraine

Harpoon launchers, more howitzers in new $1B US aid package for Ukraine

Harpoon launchers for Ukraine
Illustration: US Navy file photo of a Harpoon missile launch

The United States will be sending truck-mounted Harpoon launchers, additional howitzers and HIMARS ammunition to Ukraine as part of the latest $1 billion military assistance package for Ukraine.

US president Joe Biden announced the additional support on June 15, following a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“This morning, I spoke with president Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s brutal and ongoing war against Ukraine. I reaffirmed my commitment that the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression,” president Biden said.

“I informed president Zelenskyy that the United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations in the Donbas.”

“We also discussed Secretary Austin’s efforts in Brussels today to coordinate additional international support for the Ukrainian armed forces.”

More specifically, the new aid package includes two truck-mounted launchers for Harpoon coastal-defense missiles, over 30 thousand artillery rounds, as well as optics systems. To remind, Denmark has also pledged to supply Ukraine with a Harpoon launcher and anti-ship missiles.

“We also remain committed to supporting the Ukrainian people whose lives have been ripped apart by this war. Today, I am also announcing an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people inside Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items,” Biden added.

The White House announcement follows the third meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Belgium, in which ministers and chiefs of defense from more than 45 countries coordinate efforts to aid Ukraine’s defense.

“Ukraine is facing a pivotal moment on the battlefield,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III told the attendees on Wednesday. “We’re seeing what [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy warned us about: after failing to take Kyiv and after reassessing its combat aims, Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbas.”

Speaking at the same meeting, US Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Ukraine would receive its first HIMARS systems to employ against Russia “in a few weeks.”

Austin added that Russia has also changed tactics using long-range fires to try to overwhelm Ukrainian positions in the region. This calls for different systems, different training and different logistics for Ukraine to succeed.

The defense secretary pointed out that the US has already provided Ukraine with howitzers, Javelins, ammunition, unmanned aerial systems, Mi-17 helicopters, counter-artillery radars, tactical vehicles and electronic jamming equipment.

US forces are also training Ukrainian forces on new capabilities. “And we’re committed to do even more,” Austin said. “We are providing Ukraine’s defenders with HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems that will significantly boost Ukraine’s capabilities — especially when combined with additional donations of NATO-standard rocket systems from the United Kingdom and our other allies.”