Latest US $775 Million Aid Package to Ukraine To Include Drones – The Pentagon said on Friday that the United States is sending another aid package of arms and equipment that the Ukrainian military needs for its counteroffensive against Russian troops in the country’s south.
This aid package includes 15 Scan Eagle surveillance drones, 50 troop-carrying HUMVEEs, 40 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles known as MRAP, 1,500 TOW missiles, and 1,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles. Also included in the package are 36,000 rounds of ammunition and 15 of the US-made 105mm howitzers.
Defense News reported that the package also included ammunition for the 84mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle used by US Special Forces and the Ukrainian Special Forces and the AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM), which will allow Ukrainian forces to target Russian anti-aircraft radar systems.
The new aid package will total up to $775 million of weapons and supplies from the Pentagon’s stockpiles and will now consist of a sustainable level of support. This will allow Ukraine to continue weakening Russian supply routes and depots, allow them to defend their territory from further attacks, and prepare for its counteroffensive in the south. It also will allow the US to replenish its own stocks.
Secretary of State Blinken’s Statement of Support:
US State Department chief Anthony Blinken issued a statement on this latest aid package headed for Ukraine.
“As we approach the six-month mark of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal full-scale war against Ukraine, President Putin’s forces continue their assault, inflicting grievous harm on civilians and causing massive destruction of civilian infrastructure. President Biden has been clear that we will continue to support the people of Ukraine in defending their country from Russia’s aggression for as long as it takes.
“As part of those efforts, pursuant to a delegation of authority from the President, today I am authorizing our nineteenth drawdown since September 2021 of U.S. arms and equipment utilizing this authority. This $775 million drawdown includes additional arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories, equipment that Ukraine’s forces have used so effectively for their country’s defense. This package brings total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to approximately $10.6 billion since the beginning of this Administration.”
Scan Eagle Reconnaissance Drones Given For The 1st Time:
For the first time, the US will send the Scan Eagle reconnaissance drone to Ukraine, although there were reports that some of the allies of Washington had already given Ukraine some of the Scan Eagles, according to a defense official.
The Scan Eagle small unmanned aircraft system, or UAS, provides real-time direct situational awareness and force protection information to deployed US military troops. The Scan Eagle is a portable system that features four air vehicles or AVs, a ground control station, a remote video terminal, and a launch and recovery system known as the Skyhook system. It is operated by two personnel.
Some general characteristics of the system include:
Wingspan: 10.2 feet (3.1 meters)
Length: 3.9 feet (1.19 meters)
Weight: 39.7 lbs (18 kilograms)
Speed: 55-80 mph
Endurance: 20 + hours
Operating Altitude: 16,000 feet air ground level (4,876 meters)
Primary Function: Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition
The Scan Eagle drones will prove invaluable to the Ukrainian forces that look to find and target Russian forces for their artillery and precision-guided missile systems such as the US HIMARS. They are easily moved around the battlefield and can provide long loitering times over the target area.
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 19fortyfive.com and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.