The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced a new $300m military security package for Ukraine drawn from funds saved from US stock replenishment contract negotiations, with artillery ammunition at the centre of resources provided.

With the multi-billion-dollar supplemental budget for Ukraine still waiting to pass through Congress as Republican lawmakers seek domestic concessions from their Democrat counterparts, US funding ground to a halt at the back end of 2023. However, in a round of contract negotiations to replenish US inventory, savings were identified and set aside to produce another security package for Kyiv.

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Equipment and items contained in the now 55th US security assistance package to Ukraine include HIMARS munitions and 155mm artillery rounds, as well as an undisclosed number of Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM).

The DPICM is a cluster munition – classified as the M77 munition when such capabilities were permitted in US Army service – and can be fired by the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

A US DoD spokesperson said that it had “unexpectedly” been able to put together the military assistance package for Ukraine, with the munitions to sustain Ukrainian forces “in the weeks” timeframe.

Ukraine is critically short of ammunition, particularly for its 155mm and other artillery calibres, as Russian forces reportedly continue to make gains westwards following the fall of Avdiivka in February.

The DoD spokesperson added that the method for securing funding for the new package was an “unsustainable” way to support Ukraine “in the long run”, repeating calls for the approximate $60bn supplementary budget request to be approved.

“I don’t foresee we are going to be able to do future [Presidential Drawdown Authority] like this, certainly not in any sustainable [way],” the spokesperson said.

Outlining US packages for Ukraine since 2022

The new security package comes around two-and-a-half months after the last announcement was made, on 27 December 2023, when the DoD stated it would be providing around $250m worth of military equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons, and other critically needed materiel.

By 27 December last year, the US had provided to Ukraine more than $44.2bn in security assistance since Russia’s large-scale invasion on 24 February 2022. Along with significant quantities of heavy armour and artillery systems, the DoD had provided in excess of two million 155mm artillery rounds and more than 800,000 105mm artillery shells.

Of armour and other vehicles provided to Ukraine, this included 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 45 T-72B tanks, 186 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 189 Stryker armoured personnel carriers (APC), 300 M113 APCs, 250 M1117 armoured security vehicles, over 500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), and more than 2,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), commonly known as the Humvee.