In response to continued Russian aggression in Ukraine, the U.S. is sending an additional package of security aid to Ukraine. The latest package includes heavy weapon systems that are intended to help the Ukrainian military fend off the renewed Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.
More Weapons to Ukraine
The military aid package includes the following:
72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds
72 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers
Over 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems
Field equipment and spare parts.
“This afternoon, April 21, the Department of Defense (DoD) announces the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to an additional $800 million tailored to meet critical Ukrainian needs for today’s fight as Russian forces launch a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said in a press release.
The new artillery weapons will be crucial to the Ukrainian defense in the Donbas. But to operate them effectively, the Ukrainians have to be trained or familiarized with the weapon system by the U.S. military, something which the Pentagon has already begun doing.
This is the third $800 package the U.S. has sent Ukraine in the last couple of weeks and the eighth drawdown of equipment from Department of Defense inventories since last August.
“This commitment, together with the 18 155mm howitzers announced on April 13, provides enough artillery systems to equip five battalions. The United States also continues to work with its Allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with additional capabilities. The United States will continue to utilize all available tools to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the face of Russian aggression,” the Pentagon press secretary added.
Billions in Military Aid
With the latest package of military aid, the U.S. has sent Ukraine 90 155mm howitzers. In only two weeks, the Pentagon has provided 18 howitzers in the first package and 72 howitzers in the second.
“Today, I’m announcing another $800 million to further augment Ukraine’s ability to fight in the east — in the Donbas region. This package includes heavy artillery weapons—dozens of Howitzers—and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those Howitzers. It also includes more tactical drones,” U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday.
“In the past two months, we’ve moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed. We’ve sent thousands of anti-armor and anti-[air] missile[s], helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems. More than 50 million rounds of ammunition had already been sent. The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every one Russian tank that’s in Ukraine—a 10 to 1 ratio,” Biden added.
With the latest package of security aid, the U.S. has sent approximately $3.4 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. And in the last two years, the U.S. has sent a total of approximately $4.0 billion in security assistance to Kyiv.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.