The United States will reinforce Ukraine’s air defense systems by supplying more missiles as part of its latest tranche of security assistance to support the country’s forces fight against Russian attacks.
The Department of Defense on Thursday announced the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance worth $400 million to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs. This is the Biden Administration’s twenty-fifth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.
“Today, the United States will be announcing another package of security assistance for Ukraine, including important air defense contributions like missiles for HAWK air defense systems, as well as four U.S. Avenger air defense systems that come equipped with Stinger missiles,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a news conference.
Sullivan said that in Kyiv last week, he consulted with President Volodymyr Zelensky and his team on the ground about what Ukraine needs to be in the strongest position possible on the battlefield. “This increased air defense will be critical for Ukraine as Russia continues to use cruise missiles and Iranian-made drones to attack critical civilian infrastructure,” he told reporters.
The U.S. military package also includes additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); 21,000 155mm artillery rounds; 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds; 10,000 120mm mortar rounds; 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs); 400 grenade launchers; Small arms, optics, and more than 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; and Demolition equipment for obstacle clearing.
According to Pentagon, additional air defense capabilities are crucial as Russia continues to carry out relentless air attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure. The HAWK missiles will complement Spain’s recent commitment of HAWK launchers to help Ukraine meet this threat. The Avenger short-range air defense systems will also provide Ukraine with capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against Unmanned Aerial Systems and helicopters.
The United States has committed more than $18.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
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