Ahead of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s meeting with U.S. leaders and speech to Congress Wednesday evening, the Biden administration announced a new, $1.85 billion military aid package for Ukraine.
The aid package consists of about $1 billion worth of weapons and equipment from Defense Department inventories – including for the first time a Patriot surface-to-air missile system, the most sophisticated air defense system in the U.S. arsenal – along with $850 million in assistance provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds the purchase of supplies from manufacturers.
In addition to the Patriot missile system, the aid from the Pentagon includes:
* Ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS;
* 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;
* 10 120mm mortar systems, with 10,000 rounds;
* 10 82mm mortar systems;
* 10 60mm mortar systems;
* 37 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, known as MRAPs;
* 120 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles;
* Six armored utility trucks;
* High-speed anti-radiation missiles, known as HARMs;
* Claymore anti-personnel mines;
* Demolition munitions and equipment;
* Night vision devices;
* Body armor and other field equipment.
The Defense Department said the money provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative will enable the purchase of tens of thousands of artillery rounds of various calibers, as well as rockets, tank ammunition and satellite terminals and services.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted in a statement that the aid package is the 28th drawdown of arms and equipment from the Pentagon, bringing “total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to an unprecedented $21.9 billion since the beginning of the Administration.”