U.S. to Send $400 Million In Military Aid to Ukraine: U.S. officials confirmed on Thursday that an additional $400 million worth of military aid would be sent to Ukraine in a package that contains large quantities of ammunition and new air defense systems.
Officials said that the highly mobile Avenger Air Defense System will be made available to Ukraine for the first time, along with more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) already in widespread use in Ukraine. Mortars will also come as part of the package, as well as missiles for the Hawk surface-to-air anti-aircraft systems already donated to Ukraine.
Also included in the package are 400 grenade launchers, 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, and other artillery rounds.
The new package brings the United States’ total aid commitment to Ukraine to $18.5 billion in weapons and equipment since the invasion began.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the package was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s air defense systems.
The announcement comes only a week after the United States Department of Defense confirmed a $400 million military assistance package.
What Is the Avenger Air Defense System?
The Avenger air defense system is a Humvee-based short-range air defense system. A self-propelled, mobile system, the Avenger provides effective air defense protection against unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, cruise missiles, and low-flying fixed-wing drones and aircraft. It could prove an essential tool for Ukrainians fighting yet more Iranian-manufactured drones in use by the Russian military.
Originally developed for the United States Armed Forces, this Boeing weapon has an operational range of 275 miles and can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour, making it hugely convenient for Ukrainian forces as they make quick advances through formerly occupied territories in Ukraine.
The Avenger mobile air defense system features a turret and two four-round launchers that fire Stinger missiles. It’s also fitted with a machine gun, optical sight, laser rangefinder, and an infrared camera.
Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said that the decision was made to provide the mobile surface-to-air missile system to “provide Ukraine with the capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against unmanned aerial systems and helicopters.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.
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