The Ukrainian military is making gains in southern Ukraine but losing men and weapon systems in brutal fighting.
To replenish the stocks of the Ukrainian forces, the United States has announced yet another package of military aid.
As Kyiv continues to fight for the liberation of its country and people, Western military aid remains essential.
Missiles, Artillery Shells, and Anti-Tank Weapons
Valued at $325 million, the latest military aid package is the 47th since the fall of 2021, when the first clouds over Ukraine started to gather.
The latest package of security aid includes AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles for air defense, additional rockets for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), an unspecified number of AN/TWQ-1 Avenger air defense systems, 155mm artillery rounds (including cluster munitions), Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, 105mm artillery rounds, FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, AT-4 anti-tank weapons, 59 light tactical vehicles, and demolitions equipment, among other weapons and munitions.
When it comes to small arms and ammunition, the latest package of military aid includes over 3 million rounds for small arms and grenades, as well as 0.50 caliber ammunition for anti-drone weapons.
“As President Biden just announced, the Department of Defense is sending an additional security assistance package to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs. This announcement is the Biden Administration’s forty-seventh tranche of equipment to be provided by DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021,” the Department of Defense stated in a press release.
The latest package of U.S. military aid to the Ukrainian military falls under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows the Pentagon to send weapon systems and ammunition from its stocks. The benefit of the PDA scheme is that the weapons get to their destination much faster than ordering new ones.
“The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements,” the Department of Defense added.
The Need for More Weapons
And yet, even after 47 packages of security aid worth billions of dollars, Ukraine still needs more weapons to prevail over Russia and liberate the rest of the country.
Besides more of the same, the Ukrainian military needs weapon systems that it hasn’t received yet. Specifically, Kyiv needs MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS. This long-range munition can be fired by Ukraine’s M142 HIMARS and M279 MLRS and can reach targets almost 200 miles away.
Ukraine has been using long-range fires effectively to degrade and disrupt the Russian logistical system and supply routes. The addition of the ATACMS would take Kyiv’s long-range fires capabilities to the next level and make life for the Russian troops on the frontlines that much more difficult.
The latest information indicates that the Biden Administration is still reluctant to give Ukraine ATACMS, but in a change of heart, it did just approve ATACMS for Ukraine.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.