US President Joe Biden has committed $2.98bn in additional security aid under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
This is the single largest tranche of assistance by the US to the war-torn country since the Russian invasion was announced on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
The President said the latest package will allow Ukrainians to defend themselves in the long term.
As part of the assistance, the US will deliver six more national advanced surface-to-air missile systems (NASAMS) with munitions, over 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition.
Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), support equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems, VAMPIRE Counter UAS, laser-guided rocket systems, and 24 counter-artillery radars are also part of the aid package.
The funding will also be used for training, maintenance, and sustainment.
Under the USAI, the US buys capabilities from industry.
In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force brigadier general Pat Ryder said: “This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine in the mid and long-term.”
He added that the assistance represents ‘multi-year investments in critical capabilities to build the enduring strength of Ukraine’s armed forces as it continues to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression.’
The US, which earlier provided the Ukrainian armed forces with anti-armour and anti-aircraft munitions, including Javelin and Stinger systems, has now included more artillery pieces and crew-served capabilities to meet the country’s latest needs.
Since the beginning of 2021, the US has set aside over $13.5bn in security assistance to Ukraine.