The Biden administration announced Friday a new $400 million weapons package for Ukraine that includes more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 150mm artillery ammunition, and tactical vehicles.
The new aid marks the 15th weapons package the US has pledged for Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, demonstrating the Biden administration’s commitment to flooding the country with arms.
According to the Pentagon, the new package includes:
- Four HIMARS and additional ammunition for HIMARS
- Three Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment
- 155mm artillery ammunition
- Demolition munitions
- Counter-battery systems
- Spare parts and other equipment
The new package brings the total number of HIMARS the US has pledged to Ukraine to 12. US officials said that the eight that have already been sent are being used in combat in the Donbas, although Russia has said that it destroyed two US-provided HIMARS, a claim Kyiv rejects.
The $400 million was pulled from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that President Biden signed back in May. It was authorized using presidential drawdown authority, which allows the president to send Ukraine weapons directly from the US military’s stockpile with no congressional oversight.
The $40 billion aid bill is meant to last through September 30, which marks the end of the fiscal year for the US federal government. Combined with the $13.6 billion bill that was already spent, the US will spend about $54 billion in total on the war in Ukraine in the 2022 fiscal year unless more funds are authorized.
It’s likely that billions more in spending for Ukraine will be approved for the 2023 fiscal year as the US says it will support Ukraine for a long time. Last week, at the NATO summit in Madrid, Biden said he was ready to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia.