Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Should Be Afraid: Ukraine Keeps Getting More Weapons from America

Switchblade Drone
Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Company Handout.

The Biden administration is expected to announce an additional $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday as the war reaches its sixth-month mark. It also coincides with the 31st anniversary of Kyiv’s independence.

This aid package would signal a shift from the U.S. to a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s fight to remain free. This latest aid package is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. It is not expected to see anything more than slight changes. 

Drones Feature Heavily

The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative provides weapons and equipment from U.S. private industry rather than using Presidential Drawdown Authority, which draws from the U.S. stockpile. The Defense Department has asked for further aid in anti-tank systems, communications equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The U.S. aid package will not include the type of weapons systems that characterized previous deliveries. It will focus more on ammunition and medium-term needs such as defense systems. This latest aid package will probably take months to arrive, and that will depend on how quickly U.S. private industry can produce the systems. 

Three different types of drones are expected to be sent to Ukraine: small, hand-launched Puma drones; longer-endurance ScanEagle surveillance drones, which were included in previous aid packages; and, for the first time, the British Vampire drone system, which is a ship-launched system that performs intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as electromagnetic operations.

This latest announced aid comes in the same week the U.S. State Department urged all Americans to leave Ukraine as quickly as possible, due to expected Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Independence Day. 

Switchblade Drone

Switchblade Drone. Image Credit: Industry Handout.

“The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days,” the U.S. Embassy said in an alert posted on its website.”The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so.”

Western Europe Is Pitching In Again

International aid to Ukraine from Western Europe dried up between July 2 and August 3, with only about $1.5 billion in aid being pledged.  

However, Western European nations did continue to deliver previously pledged aid. And on Wednesday, Germany pledged a further $500 million in aid, consisting of three IRIS-T anti-aircraft systems, “a dozen armed recovery vehicles, 20 rocket-launchers mounted on pick-ups … precision munition and anti-drone equipment,” according to defense official in a statement to AFP. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced this pledge by video broadcast to a conference in Kyiv. 

EU President Ursula von der Leyen posted a message on social media congratulating Ukraine on its independence day and vowed that the EU will continue to support Ukraine’s fight to remain free. 

“Dear citizens of Ukraine, we can never match the sacrifices you are making every day.

Switchblade Drone

Switchblade Drone. Image Credit: Manufacturer Handout.

“But we can and will stand by your side.

“The EU has been with you in this fight from the very beginning. And we will be for as long as it takes. #UkraineIndependenceDay,” she posted on Twitter.

This latest aid package from the U.S. will show the Ukrainian government that Washington is determined to support Kyiv for the long haul – it won’t back down as the fighting bogs down into a war of attrition. The U.S. is looking at providing long-term training for Ukrainian soldiers and troops from other Eastern European countries in an area outside Ukraine. 

Expert Biography: Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. A proven military analyst, he served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer in the 7th Special Forces Group. In addition to writing for and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.