The U.S. is again dipping into its own stock of military hardware, including 21,000 155mm artillery rounds to 100 Humvees, to support Ukraine in its fight against a Russian invasion that began in February.
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced a $400 million security assistance package for Kyiv, Defense Department officials told reporters.
Topping the list are missiles for the HAWK air defense systems; four Avenger air defense systems and Stinger missiles. Also being sent are additional ammo for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that have been considered a game-changer on the battlefield.
The authorization announced Thursday is the Biden administration’s 25th drawdown of equipment from Defense Department inventories since August 2021.
“With Russia’s unrelenting and brutal air attacks on Ukrainian civilian and critical infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities are critical,” Sabrina Singh, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told reporters at the Pentagon.
Citing security concerns, Pentagon officials didn’t say how many HAWK missiles would be sent to Ukraine. They will be refurbished using Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative Funds and will “complement” Spain’s recent promise to send HAWK launchers to Ukraine.
“The Avenger short-range air defense systems will also provide Ukraine with the capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against [drones] and helicopters,” Ms. Singh said.
The U.S. also will send Ukraine 500 precision-guided 155mm rounds; 10,000 120mm mortar rounds, and more than 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. Also included are 400 grenade launchers, demolition equipment, and cold-weather protective gear.
The U.S. has committed more than $18 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, Defense Department officials said.