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US Defense Secretary announces a $6 billion military aid package for Ukraine

Purchased from manufacturers within the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, this part of the equipment will not arrive immediately.
The head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin in Brussels, 2023. Photo: Depositphotos
US Defense Secretary announces a $6 billion military aid package for Ukraine

The package includes air defense such as Patriots and NASAMS artillery munitions and other aid.

On 26 April 2024, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the new aid package during the Ukraine Defense Contact Group or Ramstein Group meeting, comprising over 50 nations. The equipment is expected to take several years to reach Ukraine due to funding through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). This program involves contracting US defense firms to produce new equipment for Ukraine rather than using existing US military stocks.

The new package adds to the $1 billion in immediate military aid announced by the Pentagon on 24 April, which included air defense systems, artillery, and armored vehicles, with some items expected to be delivered within days.

The announcement “underscores America’s commitment to Ukraine,” said the US Defense Secretary. “This coalition stands together, and we will not falter, we will not flinch, and we will not fail” to stave off Russian aggression, he stressed.

According to the Pentagon statement, the capabilities in this announcement, which totals up to $6 billion, include:

  • Additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems;
  • Additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS);
  • Equipment to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s air defense systems;
  • Counter-UAS equipment and systems;
  • Munitions for laser-guided rocket systems;
  • Multi-mission radars;
  • Counter-artillery radars;
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 155mm and 152mm artillery rounds;
  • Precision aerial munitions;
  • Switchblade and Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS);
  • Tactical vehicles to tow weapons and equipment;
  • Demolition munitions;
  • Components to support Ukrainian production of UAS and other capabilities;
  • Small arms and additional small arms ammunition; and
  • Ancillary items and support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities.

“This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to acquire additional priority capabilities for Ukraine,” the Pentagon states, highlighting the time needed to deliver the listed equipment.

As wasp reported, during the opening of the Ramstein meeting on 26 April 2024, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy highlighted Ukraine’s main need to counter the Russian invasion and gain momentum. He named long-range missiles, air defense systems, and, specifically, at least 7 Patriots, as well as artillery shells, as crucial.

Dear friends, please do not forget what you are deciding. This is not just about arms supply. You are deciding the fate of the world that will either live by rules that we all recognize or depend on the mercy of those whose violence is brutal,” he stressed. Although in half a year while we were waiting for a decision on American support, the Russian army managed to seize the initiative on the battlefield, we can still not only stabilize the front but also move forward, achieving our Ukrainian goals in the war.

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