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Pentagon officially announces rumored $1 bn military aid for Ukraine

The Pentagon declared a $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including air defense, artillery, and armored vehicles. Some items are expected to be delivered within days.
The Ukrainian Army’s Bradley IFV. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
Pentagon officially announces rumored $1 bn military aid for Ukraine

On 24 April, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine, valued at an estimated $1 billion. This follows the same-day signing of a national security supplemental by US President Biden, passed by Congress a day earlier.

Signing the bill on $95 billion foreign aid funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan by Biden concluded a half-year-long saga of delaying the assistance by Congressional Republicans.

The Pentagon’s package, which includes air defense interceptors, artillery rounds, armored vehicles, and anti-tank weapons, marks the Biden Administration’s fifty-sixth tranche of equipment provided from DoD inventories to Ukraine since August 2021.

The DoD lists the following capabilities as included in the $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine:

  • Anti-air ammunition
    • missiles for air defense“: RIM-7 short-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system and AIM-9M short-range air-to-air missile;
    • FIM-92 Stinger man-portable air-defense anti-aircraft missiles;
    • Small arms and additional rounds of small arms ammunition, including .50 caliber rounds to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)”;
  • Long-range rockets
    • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS)” – there is no additional data if it includes only GMLRS rockets, or also ATACMS tactical ballistic missile, including the rumored supplies of its long-range variants;
  • Artillery ammunition
    • 155mm artillery rounds, including “High Explosive and Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions rounds” – i.e. cluster munitions;
    • 105mm artillery rounds;
    • 60mm mortar rounds;
  • Vehicles
    • Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles;
    • Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs);
    • High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
    • Logistics support vehicles;
    • Tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment;
  • Anti-tank weapons, additional gear and equipment
    • Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
    • Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems;
    • Precision aerial munitions;
    • Airfield support equipment;
    • Anti-armor mines;
    • Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
    • Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing; and
    • Night vision devices; and
    • Spare parts, field equipment, training munitions, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

The Pentagon says that this aid package will “surge munitions, weapons, and equipment forward to support Ukraine’s ability to defend its frontlines, protect its cities, and counter Russia’s continued attacks.

With the bipartisan support of Congress, Ukraine can count on strong and resolute US leadership to provide consistent security assistance support – together with some 50 Allies and partners – to ensure its brave defenders receive the critical capabilities needed to fight Russian aggression,” the US Department of Defense assures.

Some aid to be transferred within days

The Pentagon’s announcement confirmed earlier reports by AP and Reuters that it plans to send a variety of munitions, including Stinger air defense and anti-tank weapons, as well as armored vehicles to Ukraine.

CNN earlier reported, citing sources, that the $1 billion aid package to Ukraine would include long-range ATACMS missiles for the first time, a detail not now directly confirmed by the US Department of Defense.  Senator Mark Warner has also previously mentioned that the $61 billion US aid package to Ukraine would include ATACMS missiles.

However, the Pentagon did not explicitly confirm this report, although the long-range versions of the ATACMS could still be implied under “additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).”

CNN reports indicated that much of the US military aid for Ukraine was already pre-positioned in storage facilities in Germany and Poland, which would expedite its delivery into Ukraine once the new law is enacted.

Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder stated that once Congress approves the military aid package, the United States Department of Defense is prepared to rapidly send necessary military assistance to Ukraine, including air defense and artillery capabilities, utilizing their robust logistics network to move material “within days.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s unnamed official sources stated that the aid might start to arrive in Ukraine “within a week” after Biden signs the bill.

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