The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced additional security assistance worth over $675m through presidential drawdown for Ukraine. 

The 20th drawdown of equipment from DoD stocks since August 2021 aims to strengthen the war-hit nation’s defence capabilities. 

Under the latest aid package, Ukraine will receive ammunition for high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), four 105mm howitzers and 36,000 105mm artillery rounds, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, and 100 armoured high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV).

Nearly 5,000 anti-armour systems, 1.5 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 1,000 155mm rounds of remote anti-armour mine (RAAM) systems, grenade launchers, night vision devices, and other field equipment are also included.

At the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III highlighted the need for long-term investments to help Ukraine and other countries amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

In this regard, the US State Department plans to set aside $1bn to support Ukraine and another $1bn for 17 neighbouring nations.

Austin said: “We’ll work together to train Ukraine’s forces for the long haul.

“We’ll work together to upgrade our defence industrial bases to meet Ukraine’s requirements for the long haul. And we’ll work together for production and innovation to meet Ukraine’s self-defence needs for the long haul.”

Since January last year, the US has pledged over $15.2bn in security assistance to Ukraine.

During the contact group meeting, Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram confirmed the shipment of Hellfire missiles to Ukraine.

The latest donation package includes over 160 missiles, launching pads, and guidance units, as well as night vision equipment drawn from its armed forces inventories.

Gram said: “The missile is easy to operate and can be used against both land- and sea-targets.”

The Hellfire missiles were tested and verified by the Norwegian Armed Forces ahead of delivery.

Norwegian instructors have completed training Ukrainian operators on handling the Hellfire.