The United States will send an additional $775 million in missiles, drones, vehicles and mine clearance equipment to Ukraine to aid in its war with Russia as the conflict reaches a near stalemate, the Pentagon announced on Friday. .
The new assistance program will include 16 howitzers and ammunition, AGM-88 high-velocity anti-radiation missiles (HARM), ammunition for high mobility artillery rocket systems, 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance drones and vehicles armored vehicles, among other armaments, a senior defense official told reporters.
The package comes at a critical time as Ukraine and Russia battle for control of eastern Ukraine.
Nearly six months into the war, the two sides are locked in a virtual operational stalemate, with neither Kyiv nor Moscow able to muster enough ground troops and weapons to turn the tide of the conflict, assess the Western officials.
The additional hit of lethal aid could help Ukrainian forces gain the upper hand as Russian troops battle casualties inflicted by US-made missile systems.
“I would say that you see a complete and utter lack of progress by the Russians on the battlefield,” the senior defense official said, adding that it is important both to maintain Ukrainian successes on the battlefield battlefield and allow them to win as the conflict evolves. .
“We want to make sure Ukraine has a steady flow of ammunition to meet their needs, and that’s what we’re doing with this package.”
The last lethal aid follows the billion dollars worth of weapons and equipment granted to the beleaguered country earlier this month, the largest such tranche pledged since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The package also pushes the United States past the $10 billion mark in military assistance to Ukraine under the Biden administration, spread across 19 packages since August 2021.
The HARM, which can be fired from Ukrainian aircraft, has a range of at least 30 miles and is designed to find and destroy radar-equipped air defense systems, stands out in the latest installment of lethal aid. The missiles were credited with eliminate some of Russia’s most dangerous weapons systems in Ukraine in recent weeks.
Also included are the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems – the first time the United States has provided the drone to Kyiv – which will give Ukrainians “better reconnaissance around the front lines”, the official said.
Additionally, the package will consist of 1,000 Javelins; 36,000 105mm artillery shells; demining equipment; 40 anti-mine vehicles protected against ambushes, to allow Ukrainian troops to move into trapped areas; 1,500 optically tracked tube-launched wire-guided missiles; 2,000 anti-armour shells; 50 Humvees; tactical secure communication systems; night vision devices; thermal imaging systems; and optical and laser range finders.