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US announces new $2B Ukraine aid package on invasion anniversary

US Marine Corps file photo of an operator launching a Switchblade drone

Exactly one year after Russia launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year, the US Defense Department announced a new $2 billion aid package to enhance Ukraine’s capability to defend itself.

The security assistance package, which sees the Pentagon procure military systems from industry, focuses on additional unmanned aerial systems (UAS), including previously unsent types.

The USAI includes four types of UAS, three of which were never delivered to Ukraine before. These include the CyberLux K8 UAS, Altius-600 UAS, and Jump 20 UAS. Switchblade 600 UAS, another “kamikaze drone” listed in the $2B package, was already part of previous US announcements.

Other equipment will include counter-UAS and electronic warfare detection equipment, mine-clearing equipment, secure communications support equipment, and funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

Unlike Presidential Drawdown, USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities rather than delivering equipment that is drawn down from US military stocks. This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional capabilities to Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

Other equipment in this package includes electronic warfare detection equipment, critical ammunition stocks for artillery, and precision fires capabilities. The new capabilities will bolster Ukraine’s ability to repel Russian aggression, including additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm artillery rounds, and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems.