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US President Joe Biden has approved an additional $1bn in security assistance to strengthen the abilities of the Ukrainian armed forces in their fight against the Russian invasion.
The military package is the latest tranche bound for Ukraine and includes approximately $350m from the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA).
This drawdown includes equipment such as 18 155mm howitzers, 36,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition, 18 tactical vehicles to tow the 155mm howitzers, more ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems, and four tactical vehicles to recover equipment, and spare parts and other equipment.
These capabilities will be drawn down from existing US military stocks.
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The remaining $650m in support will come from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and includes two Harpoon coastal defence systems, thousands of secure radios, thousands of night vision devices, thermal sights and other optics, and funding for training, maintenance, sustainment, transportation, and administrative costs.
The US will procure these capabilities under the USAI from the industry via purchase or contracts.
A US defence official said: “This new assistance will support Ukraine’s most urgent needs for artillery, as well as near-term priorities for coastal defence, secure communications, and optics.”
“The provision of [the] Harpoon is not in response to any particular piece of new information.
“It’s a combination of continued consultation with the Ukrainians, and coastal defence still being near the top of their urgent requirements list.”
To date, the Biden Administration has committed nearly $6.3bn in security assistance to Ukraine. This includes approximately $5.6bn since the start of the Russian aggression on 24 February.
The US has pledged over $8.3bn in security assistance to the war-hit country since 2014.
In addition to the US, more than 50 nations have committed to help build Ukraine’s military capabilities.
As part of this pledge, Germany will provide three M270 Mittleres Artillerie Raketen System (MARS) launchers, as well as ammunition for guided multiple launch rocket systems (GMLRS).
Slovakia will donate MI-series helicopters and rocket ammunition while Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, and other nations will make new artillery donations.