The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced plans to deliver four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine.

It is in line with the authorisation of a presidential drawdown package worth $700m, which was approved on 1 June.

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The military aid is the DoD’s 11th drawdown of equipment since August 2021 as part of its security assistance to Ukraine.

The latest assistance package includes five counter-artillery radar systems, two air-surveillance radars, 6,000 antiarmor weapons, 15,000 155mm artillery rounds, 1,000 Javelins and 50 command launch units, four Mi-17 helicopters, and spare parts.

Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, capable of hitting a target over 40 miles away, will also be delivered to the war-torn nation.

According to the DoD, the HIMARS systems are already pre-positioned in Europe to enable speedy delivery of equipment to Ukraine. 

A three-week training session for Ukrainian users and maintenance team will precede the transfer of equipment.

US DoD Defense Policy undersecretary Colin Kahl said: “They need to know not just how to use the systems, but, of course, how to maintain the system — so, think of logistics, maintenance, things like that.”

Part of the Multiple Launch Rocket System, M142 HIMARS facilitates launch of multiple rockets with increased precision.

Kahl added: “Right now, the Howitzers we provided them have about a 30km range; the HIMARS have more than twice that, which will allow them — even with fewer systems — greater standoff.

“The latest equipment package for Ukraine will likely not be the last. We will continue to closely consult with Ukraine and surge additional available systems and capabilities in support of its defence.”

The US has rushed in $4.6bn in assistance to Ukraine since the onset of Russian invasion.

Last month, the US House of Representatives okayed a bill to provide $40bn in aid to Ukraine.

This package allocates $6bn for security assistance including training, equipment, weapons, and related support.