Last Updated on October 5, 2022
The Department of Defense announced on Tuesday that another $625 million will be headed to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package. According to the DOD, the package is focused on fulfilling Ukraine’s short-term operational needs. The pentagon has pledged both short and long-term support for Ukraine, as defense officials have previously stated that arms shipments could continue for years to come.
“Ukraine has demonstrated the ability to use these capabilities to degrade Russian logistics and command and control, creating opportunities for Ukraine to maneuver and to advance,” said Laura Cooper, who serves as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. “This has created, as [Secretary of Defense Austin] said recently, a change in battlefield dynamics.”
According to the Department of Defense, the latest package will include four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, widely known as HIMARS. The Pentagon will also provide large quantities of associated munitions, including:
16 M777 155 mm Howitzers; 75,000 artillery rounds for the Howitzers, as well as 500 M982 Excalibur precision-guided rounds; 1,000 155 mm rounds of remote anti-armor mine systems; 16 105 mm Howitzers; 30,000 120 mm mortar rounds; 200 MaxxPro mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPs; 200,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; obstacle emplacement equipment and Claymore anti-personnel munitions.
The entire package was put together in conjunction with Ukrainian officials who listed what they needed and wanted.
“These are capabilities that the Ukrainians have received previously, and have requested additional capabilities,” Cooper said. “And it also responds to, in terms of … the volume of ammunition that they need on the battlefield today. We’re looking very closely at their consumption rates for ammunition to make sure that they have what they need for the counter-offensive.”
The U.S. has committed more than $16.8 billion in security funding to Ukraine since Russian troops invaded in February. Additional aid will continue to stream into the country in the coming weeks and months, Cooper confirmed.
“The United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons and equipment to meet its urgent needs on the battlefield, while also building Ukraine’s enduring strength to defend its sovereignty over the long term,” Cooper said. “The United States will continue to consult closely with Ukraine to meet its evolving battlefield requirements, in coordination with our allies and partners, to provide Ukraine with the capabilities it needs.”
When President Biden announced a $3 billion aid package for Ukraine in August — the largest to date — Pentagon officials stated that some of the aid will be spaced out over multiple years. President Biden announced in a statement that the August package “will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”
That package was categorized under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, through which the United States contracts with defense-production contractors to fulfill orders for foreign clients. The bulk of equipment delivered to that point had come from existing stocks, The Washington Post reported.
Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said these weapons are not intended to affect “today’s fight” but to underscore “our commitment to supporting Ukraine for the long term,” adding that it will take “months or years” for some of the equipment to reach the battlefield.
It is “the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine in the mid- and long-term to ensure Ukraine can continue to defend itself as an independent, sovereign and prosperous state,” Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.