New military assistance package for Ukraine includes air defence systems and conventional and counter-drone ammunition.
The United States has announced a new $1.2bn military aid package for Ukraine that will include air defence systems, conventional artillery and counter-drone ammunition, satellite imagery services, as well as funding for military training.
In the package announced on Tuesday, Ukraine will also receive technology to allow the integration of Western air defence launchers, missiles and radars with Ukraine’s native air defence systems.
“The Russians have launched waves of missiles into Ukraine, whose military has been adept at knocking them down. The package also contains ammunition to shoot down unmanned aerial systems,” the US Department of Defense said in a statement.
Ukrainian cities have come under renewed aerial attacks in the past week with scores of Russian missiles and drones targeting the capital Kyiv and other key cities.
Ukraine is readying for a highly anticipated spring offensive against invading Russian troops, but the latest US assistance will not immediately arrive on the battlefield as it must still be procured from the defence industry or partners.
Procuring from industry is designed to avoid the US military depleting its own stocks, but also means the assistance will take longer to reach Kyiv than equipment drawn directly from existing United States military inventories.
NEWS: U.S. Provides Ukraine $1.2 Billion for Air Defense, Artillery https://t.co/PZc0dqPGBF
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) May 10, 2023
So far in fiscal 2023, the US Defense Department has provided $5bn in security assistance to Kyiv under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in four separate tranches. In fiscal 2022, the US spent $6.3bn worth of USAI funds.
The US has also rushed more than $35bn worth of weapons to Ukraine using Presidential Drawdown Authority, which authorizes the president to transfer equipment and services from US stocks without congressional approval during an emergency.
Tuesday’s military aid comes as Congress and the White House debate ways to avoid a default on the nation’s debt, with many Republicans demanding sharp cuts in domestic spending in exchange for lifting the debt limit.
Members of both the Democratic and Republican parties insist they support continued aid for Ukraine including top Republicans House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate.