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Ukraine to receive US$1bn arms boost

A new military support package for Ukraine has been announced by the Biden administration.

A new military support package for Ukraine has been announced by the Biden administration.

In its latest push to strengthen Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has committed a further US$1 billion (AU$1.4 billion) in military aid.

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This latest package is made up of $350 million (just under AU$500 million) authorised via a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance and $650 million (AU$924 million) in funds via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). 

Unlike the Presidential Drawdown, which taps into existing US DoD stocks, the USAI would task defence industry with manufacturing new equipment.

As part of this latest package, items committed to Ukraine from DoD stocks include:

  • 18 155mm howitzers;
  • 36,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition;
  • 18 tactical vehicles to tow 155mm howitzers; 
  • additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • four tactical vehicles to recover equipment; and
  • spare parts and other equipment.

Other “near-term priority capabilities” under the USAI include:

  • two Harpoon coastal defence systems;
  • thousands of secure radios;
  • thousands of night vision devices, thermal sights, and other optics; and
  • funding for training, maintenance, sustainment, transportation, and administrative costs. 

According to Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, J. Todd Breasseale, this USAI commitment represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional capabilities to Ukraines Armed Forces.

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“The United States also continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its evolving battlefield requirements,” Breasseale said. 

This latest package from the Biden administration builds on over US$5 billion (AU$7.1 billion) in previous assistance since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the US pledged US$700 million (AU$976 million) in military support, which included four Soviet-designed Mi-17 transport helicopters.

The Mi-17 helicopters were originally purchased by the US government from a Russian defence contractor to arm the Afghan military.

However, the aircraft were later retained by the US after the Afghan government was deposed.

[Related: US gifts Soviet-designed helicopters to Ukraine]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Ukraine to receive US$1bn arms boost
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