The US on Monday announced a new $350 million arms package for Ukraine that includes ammunition for the HIMARS rocket launchers, artillery rounds, and High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs).
The arms are being sent to Ukraine via the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows President Biden to ship Kyiv weapons and equipment directly from Pentagon stockpiles. The funds are being pulled from the $45 billion aid bill Congress passed in December.
According to the Pentagon, the full package includes the following:
- Ammunition for HIMARS
- 155mm artillery rounds
- 25mm ammunition
- 81mm and 60mm mortar systems and mortar rounds
- AT-4 anti-armor weapon systems
- Grenade launchers, small arms, and associated ammunition
- Demolition munitions and equipment for obstacle clearing
- Mine clearing equipment
- Heavy fuel tankers
- Thermal imagery systems, optics, and laser rangefinders
- Riverine patrol boats
- Testing and diagnostic equipment to support vehicle maintenance and repair;
- Spare parts and other field equipment
The Pentagon also released a fact sheet on Monday that said the US has pledged over $32.5 billion in military equipment for Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022.
The new package comes after a Pentagon official told The New York Times that upcoming ammunition shipments were part of a “last ditch effort” to help Ukraine on the battlefield as Ukrainian forces are using artillery rounds at an unsustainable rate. According to the fact sheet, the US has pledged over 1.5 million 155mm artillery rounds to Ukraine.
The policy has depleted Western military stockpiles, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has acknowledged that all 30 alliance members cannot produce ammunition at the rate it’s being used in Ukraine. The US and its allies have taken steps to boost production, but it will take months before any progress is made.
Also on Monday, the EU announced a plan to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells over the next year, which will cost the bloc more than $2 billion. EU members will get the rounds from their own stockpiles and also jointly produce more. Ukraine has told the EU that it needs 350,000 shells per month.