Biden’s $2.98 Billion Ukraine Weapons Package Aimed at Long Term
A $2.98 billion package of arms for Ukraine announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden sends a signal of future support for the nation, with some of the key weapons yet to be put under contract and produced.
The package, announced on Ukraine’s Independence Day, includes weapons not being drawn down from existing Pentagon inventories so those supplies will take months to deliver, according to a U.S. official familiar with the details.
That includes six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems. The NATO-standard air defense system, produced by Raytheon Technologies Corp., is used to protect the Washington region, including the White House. Like the two NASAM systems already pledged to Ukraine, these haven’t yet been put under contract and produced.
The package doesn’t provide new capabilities for a short-term counteroffensive against Russian forces. Nor does it include more of the long-range HIMARS rocket systems that Ukrainian troops are using to destroy ammunition dumps and logistics systems deep behind Russian lines.
According to two officials familiar with the new package it also includes as many as:
- 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition;
- 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition;
- U24 counter-artillery radars;
- Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and support equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems;
- VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
- Laser-guided rocket systems;
- Funding for training, maintenance and sustainment.