HIMARS for Ukraine among allied packages worth $2.4bn

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is being donated to Ukraine as part of packages from the US, Netherlands and Finland worth $2.4bn.

Andrew Salerno-Garthwaite November 21 2023

Among a series of declarations of support for Ukraine, the US will reinforce Ukraine’s long-distance precision strike capabilities with an additional HIMARS as part of a $100m Presidential Drawdown, while Finland will send €100m ($109m) of military aid in its 20th package, and the Netherlands has said it will reserve more than €2bn of support for Ukraine in 2024. 

The announcement of an additional HIMARS system comes eight weeks after the US announced 18 more such systems, yet to be delivered, to add to the 20 systems Ukraine already has in service, bringing the total to 39 systems as of 20 November. 

At a meeting of the Atlantic Council in 2022, Oleksii Reznikov, who was Ukrainian Defense Minister at the time, stated that Ukraine needed at least 100 HIMARS systems. However, recent reports have emerged, including from the Institute for the Study of War, suggesting that Russian GPS jamming is reducing the efficacy of precision strike platforms in Ukraine. 

The effectiveness of precision strike as part of a well structured recce-strike complex has had a substantial influence on the prosecution of the war in Ukraine, making it 'prohibitively dangerous' to concentrate on visibly large groups of vehicles.  

Also within the US Presidential Drawdown are: MANPADS missiles for air defence; 155mm and 105mm artillery shells; Javelin, TOW and AT-4 anti-tank weapons; and Claymore anti-personnel mines “configured to be consistent with the Ottawa Convention” that prohibits their use in a victim-activated modality. 

The $100m US package will add to the $44.8bn in security assistance to Ukraine that has been donated since the start of the Biden Administration. The donation of €100m from Finland brings its contribution to €1.5bn since the start of the war in Ukraine, and represents approximately 0.5% of its GDP in 2022. The total military aid provided by non-US countries amounts to $36bn.

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