More U.S. Military Aid for Ukraine
In a package worth $2.4 billion, the U.S. is sending Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) long-range missiles for the Ukrainian M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which can now reach far behind Russian lines.
In addition, the package of security aid includes 181 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, 250 Javelin anti-armor systems with 2,000 anti-tank rockets, 155mm artillery rounds, and 120mm mortar rounds.
Further, the U.S. is sending 190 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights to counter Russian unmanned aerial systems. The Russian forces have been using the Shahed-136 suicide drones to great effect against Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure. The Ukrainian forces have been countering the Russian munitions but using expensive anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down inexpensive drones isn’t cost-effective.
Moreover, under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the U.S. will purchase a plethora of weapon systems for Kyiv, including 20 counter-mortar radars, Puma drones, medical supplies, air surveillance radars, and two MIM-23 Hawk air defense systems, among other weapon systems.
All in all, the U.S. has committed $30 billion in security aid in the last three years, with more than $29 billion of that sum given since the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24. In total, since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine in the Donbas and Crimea, the U.S. has committed more than $32 billion in military aid to Kyiv, thus making it by far the single-largest contributor of security aid to the embattled country.
More Weapon Systems for Ukraine
But the U.S. isn’t the only one sending more weapon systems to Ukraine. Ukraine is also getting more weapon systems from the rest of the West.
Germany, who long opposed the delivery or transfer of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, is now sending 88 Leopard 1 tanks to Kyiv.
Although an older version of the main battle tank, the Leopard 1 will help the Ukrainian forces and won’t be as a logistical nightmare as it could have been since it shares part and technology with its successor version.
With the delivery of the 88 Leopard 1 main battle tanks, Ukraine is closing in to the 300 tank goal it had set as necessary for them to have an impact in the upcoming phase of offensives and counteroffensives.
In addition to the tanks, France has also committed to sending the Ground Master 200 radar, an advanced radar system that has the potential to greatly help the Ukrainian air defenses against incoming Russian cruise and ballistic missiles. The French radar has a range of more than 155 miles and can even detect incoming artillery, mortars, and drones, according to the manufacturer.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive 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.