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UK, US to bolster Ukraine’s strike power

UK, US to bolster Ukraine’s strike power

The nations have pledged to further enhance Ukraine’s offensive and defensive strike weapons capability.

The nations have pledged to further enhance Ukraine’s offensive and defensive strike weapons capability.

The United States has committed to dipping into the Department of Defence’s (DoD) inventories for a 23rd presidential drawdown aimed at supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

This latest package, valued at approximately $725 million (AU$1.1 billion), includes the provision of:

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  • additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 23,000 155mm artillery rounds;
  • 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;
  • 5,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armour Mine (RAAM) Systems;
  • 5,000 anti-tank weapons;
  • high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs);
  • more than 200 high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs);
  • small arms and more than 2,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; and
  • medical supplies.

“To meet Ukraine’s evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” a DoD spokesperson said.

This follows US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s meeting with counterparts from almost 50 countries at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels.

The United Kingdom was among the nations to pledge further support, announcing it would deliver advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) rockets, to be delivered “over the coming weeks”.

The rockets are expected to be used with the NASAMS air defence systems, capable of taking down cruise missiles.

The UK’s support package is also expected to include other variants of air defence missiles, along with hundreds of additional aerial drones for information gathering and logistics missions, and a further 18 howitzer artillery guns, in addition to the 64 already delivered.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace noted the importance of the aid following a ramp-up in aggression from Russian forces.

“Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas in Ukraine warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation. So today I have authorised the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine,” he said.

“These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies from attacks and strengthen their overall missile defence alongside the US NASAMS.”

Meanwhile, the UK has also pledged £10 million to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine, helping to fund non-lethal equipment including winter clothes, shelters, generators, fuel trucks and ambulances for the Ukrainian Army.

Other notable commitments from the Ukraine Defense Contact Group include:

  • Germany’s delivery of four IRIS-T air-defence systems committed to Ukraine;
  • Spain’s pledge to deliver four HAWK launchers to strengthen Ukraine’s air defence.
  • Norway, Germany, and Denmark’s investment into Slovakia’s indigenous production of howitzers.

The United States alone has committed approximately $17.6 billion (AU$28.2 billion) to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February.

[Related: Pentagon confirms multibillion-dollar arms package for Ukraine

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