On Friday, the Department of Defense told reporters that President Joe Biden approved a new $775 million round of security assistance for Ukraine. While announcing the eighteenth weapons package in the past six months, a senior defense said the US had adopted a tradition of giving Kiev "what they need, when they need it."
For the first time, the US will be sending ScanEagle Drones. The UAVs are made by a subsidiary of Boeing and are used for surveillance. The Pentagon said other allies may have sent ScanEagle drones to Ukraine but was unsure if Kiev has deployed any on the battlefield.
The Pentagon made the announcement to select reporters who and the official spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Defense Department claims the new package brings total military aid to Ukraine to $10.6 billion since Russia invaded on February 24.
According to Voice of America reporter Jeff Seldin, the package will also include ammo for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 16 105mm Howitzers, 36,000 artillery rounds, High Speed AntiRadar Missiles (HARM), 1,000 anti-armor TOW missiles, 1,000 Javelin anti-armor missiles and mine clearing equipment.
A source told Politico that the eighteenth round of security aid would include Raytheon-made Excalibur precision-guided munitions. The arms dealer’s website claims the munitions can extend the range and improve the accuracy of some artillery systems up to 40 kilometers. Reuters reporter Idress Ali said the Excalibur munitions were not included in this weapons package.