The Pentagon on Friday evening detailed a new $300 military equipment package to support Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russia’s invasion of the country, with the latest deal including laser-guided rocket systems, armored Humvees and additional drones.
The new military aid package is being provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative program where weapons will be procured from industry rather than being drawn from existing stockpiles, with the department noting the announcement “represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide new capabilities to Ukraine’s armed forces.”
“This decision underscores the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of its heroic efforts to repel Russia’s war of choice,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Friday.
The drones included in the latest package are AeroVironment’s [AVAV] Switchblade loitering munition and the Puma unmanned aerial system.
An $800 million military equipment package for Ukraine announced last month also included delivery of 100 Switchblade drones (Defense Daily, March 16).
Friday’s new $300 million military aid package also includes counter-UAS capabilities, ammunition, night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, tactical secure communications systems, machine guns, commercial satellite imagery services and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon.
“The United States has now committed more than $2.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including more than $1.6 billion in security assistance since Russia’s unprovoked, premeditated invasion,” Kirby said.
Congress on March 11 passed the $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package, which included $13.6 billion for emergency aid to Ukraine (Defense Daily, March 11).
The supplemental for Ukraine aid covered $6.5 billion for Department of Defense efforts, including $3 billion for “European Command operations mission support, the deployment of personnel to the region, and intelligence support” and $3.5 billion to replenish defense stocks for equipment provided to Ukraine.