WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced a $1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine on Monday, the largest weapons installment yet since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in late February.
The upcoming military aid package, the 18th such tranche, brings U.S. commitment to about $9.8 billion and includes munitions for long-range weapons and armored medical transport vehicles.
The package consists of additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems or HIMARS, 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition, 20 120 mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition as well as munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems or NASAMS.
The HIMARS, manufactured by defense giant Lockheed Martin, are designed to shoot a variety of missiles from a mobile 5-ton truck and have sat high on Ukrainian wish lists. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said that the U.S. was not sending HIMARS in this latest package, only ammunition for the system. Kahl declined to say how many rounds of ammunition would be in the next delivery.
The U.S. has thus far provided 16 HIMARS to Ukraine.
The Pentagon will also send 1,000 Javelins, hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems, 50 armored medical treatment vehicles, anti-personnel munitions, explosives, demolition munitions and demolition equipment.
Until now, the largest Ukraine assistance package was announced on June 15 but that installment was a mixture of presidential drawdown authority and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Monday’s package, solely a presidential drawdown authority, means the weapons come directly from U.S. stockpiles.
“We will continue to consult closely with Ukraine and surge additional available systems and capabilities carefully calibrated to make a difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s eventual position at the negotiating table,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.