By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
The Biden administration on Tuesday announced a new $1.2 billion weapons package for Ukraine that includes additional 155mm artillery ammunition and air defense systems.
The massive package is being provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which allows the Pentagon to purchase military equipment for Kyiv, meaning the arms could take months or years to deliver. The bulk of US military aid to Ukraine has been provided through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows President Biden to send weapons directly from Pentagon stockpiles.
The Pentagon said the announcement “represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine” and that the weapons package represents the US commitment to supporting Kyiv for the long-term.
“This USAI package underscores the continued US commitment to meeting Ukraine’s most urgent requirements by committing critical near-term capabilities, such as air defense systems and munitions, while also building the capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term,” the Pentagon said.
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The package includes:
- Additional air defense systems and munitions
- Equipment to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s air defense systems
- Ammunition for counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems
- 155mm artillery rounds
- Commercial satellite imagery services
- Support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities
The Pentagon didn’t specify what type of air defense systems would be provided, but US officials told AP that it would include the Raytheon-made HAWK system. The new aid brings the total the US has pledged in military equipment alone to over $36.9 billion since Russia invaded last year.
Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.