Ukraine is getting more weapons to fight Russia: As the Ukrainian military is getting ready to launch its large-scale counteroffensive, the United States has committed another package of military aid to Kyiv.
The latest package of security assistance is full of weapon systems and ammunition designed to assist the Ukrainian forces in their upcoming push.
One Package, Three Components
Valued at $300 million, the latest package of military aid is the 39th since August 2021.
The latest package of military aid to Ukraine mainly incudes air defense munitions, anti-tank systems, artillery shells, tank munitions, and miscellaneous systems. More specifically, the new package of military aid is broken down into three components: air defense, ground firepower, and supporting gear.
In the air defense component, the package of military aid includes ammunition for the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system, AIM-7 Sparrow radar homing air-to-air missiles, FIM-92 Stinger shouldered-fired anti-aircraft weapons, AN/TWQ-1 Avenger short-range aid defense systems, Zuni 5-inch rockets to be used by Ukrainian attack helicopters and Su-25 Frogfoot attack jets, and precision aerial munitions, ammunition for drones.
In the ground firepower component, the latest package of security aid includes additional ammunition for the highly effective M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, respectively, for the M-777 155mm and M-101 105mm howitzers, 105mm tank ammunitions, AT-4 anti-tank weapons, and over 30 million rounds of small arms ammo.
In the supporting component, the Pentagon package includes night vision devices, mine-clearing equipment, demolition munitions to clear obstacles, and miscellaneous field equipment.
Defending Ukraine Skies
Although the latest package addresses the demands of the Ukrainian ground forces, there is a heavy emphasis on air defenses. And for a good reason. Right now, the biggest threat to Ukraine comes from Russian long-range strikes.
After the failed large-scale offensive that began in January, the Kremlin has largely ceded the strategic initiative to Kyiv and has resorted to attacks against Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure.
To counter the threat posed by the Russian missile and drone strikes, the West is equipping Ukraine with a vast array of air defense systems.
“[The package] includes key capabilities to support Ukraine’s air defenders as they bravely protect Ukraine’s soldiers, civilians, and critical infrastructure amid Russia’s continuing air strikes killing civilians across Ukraine,” the Pentagon stated in a press release.
Today, the Ukrainian air defense umbrella is comprised of weapon systems and radars that can spot, track, and intercept incoming threats at long, medium, and short ranges. The effectiveness of the Ukrainian air defense umbrella is evidenced in the latest Russian attacks, where the Ukrainians have managed to shoot down almost everything the Kremlin threw at them.
For example, on Sunday, the Russian military launched its largest suicide drone attack against Ukraine. Instead of being overwhelmed, the Ukrainian air defenses shot down 52 out of the 54 Russian suicide drones. And in May, the Ukrainians were able to intercept and shoot down for the first time Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
However, intercepting air attacks is expensive, and the Ukrainian forces often have to launch advanced air defense munitions against cheap suicide drones.
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.