The US Department of Defense has announced a new package of security assistance valued at up to $550 million to meet Ukraine’s security and defense needs.
This authorization is the Biden administration’s seventeenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021, and includes 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, as well as an undisclosed amount of ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
Ukraine has so far taken delivery of 16 HIMARS, which have helped the country in heavily disrupting Russian operations in the east. Ukrainian officials, however, continue to urge for the delivery of additional launchers as well as fighter jets for ground support. The country’s officials say they need 50 HIMARS to be able to begin retaking territory held by Russia.
In addition to Ukrainian officials, US politicians are also calling for an expedited delivery of weapons to Ukraine.
“While the medium- and long-range air defense capabilities and HIMARS included in the June 27, 2022 and July 8, 2022 aid packages are a good start, these systems must be delivered at a pace and in quantity sufficient to impact the outcome of the fighting in the Donbas, Kherson and other regions,” US senators Roger Wicker, Dan Sullivan, Tammy Duckworth, Richard Blumenthal, Robert Portman, and Lindsey Graham wrote in the joint letter.
“We urge you to act expeditiously, while coordinating with NATO allies and partners, to get this equipment to the Ukrainian military immediately.”
“Protecting Ukrainian cities, military infrastructure, and forces in the field from Russian air and missile attack requires ground-based air defense systems, Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) systems, and Avenger mobile anti-aircraft missile systems. Longer-range air defense systems will allow Ukraine to target Russian aircraft and cruise missiles operating at altitudes that Stingers cannot reach. C-RAM will provide a critical point defense capability against missiles and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) targeting civilian and military critical infrastructure. Avengers will provide Ukrainian forces with mobile, short-range air defense against low-flying aircraft, helicopters, and UAS.
In addition to these critical air defense capabilities, it is imperative the United States continue to provide 155 mm Howitzers, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), armored personnel carriers, larger and more capable UAS platforms, and Mi-17 helicopters to the Ukrainian military. The importance of ongoing delivery of ammunition cannot be stressed enough given the critical nature of Ukrainian efforts to retake lost territory. We also urge you to consider fourth-generation fighter aircraft and necessary flight training for inclusion in forthcoming military aid packages.”
With the August 1 drawdown, the United States has committed approximately $8.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $10 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.