- Biden announced a massive $3 billion security assistance package for Ukraine on Wednesday.
- The announcement coincides with Ukraine's Independence Day and the six-month anniversary of Russia's invasion.
- The aid package includes support for Ukraine's air defence, artillery, and more.
In a move to significantly bolster Ukraine's combat capabilities, President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday a $2.98 billion military aid package for Ukraine. It is the largest single collection of security assistance since the Russian forces invaded the eastern European country exactly six months ago.
"I am proud to announce our biggest tranche of security assistance to date," Biden said in his announcement of the new aid, which coincided with Ukraine's Independence Day.
Biden said that the new security assistance will provide Ukraine with air defense systems, drones, radars, artillery systems, and other munitions and will "ensure" that Ukraine can "continue to defend itself over the long term," as the war has spiraled into a slow, grinding, and bloody fight that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The Pentagon detailed in a separate announcement the specifics of the new security assistance package, which it says is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative instead of Presidential Drawdown Authority.
Here's what's included in the new security assistance package, according to the Department of Defense:
Air defense systems
- Six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) with extra ammunition. NASAMS are short- to medium-range air defense systems that fire surface-to-air missiles and can defend against drones, missiles, helicopters, and other aircraft.
Artillery shells, mortars rounds, rocket systems, and counter-artillery capabilities
- Up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition that can be fired from US-made M777 Howitzers, which are towed artillery systems able to strike targets miles away.
- Up to 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition, rounds that can be fired from a mortar at closer targets several thousand meters away.
- Up to 24 counter-artillery radars that will help the Ukrainians detect when Russia fires artillery rounds and other projectiles.
- An unspecified number of laser-guided rocket systems that are able to provide additional fire support at range.
Unmanned assets and counter-drone systems
- Puma unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and support equipment for Scan Eagle UAS systems, both of which are small drones that can be used for reconnaissance and intelligence missions.
- VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems, newer weapon systems on which details are limited.
Training and other support
- Funding for unspecified training, maintenance, and sustainment.
With the new aid package, the US has now committed over $13.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Biden administration in January 2021, according to the Pentagon.
The defense department said the aim is to "provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine in the mid- and long-term to ensure Ukraine can continue to defend itself as an independent, sovereign and prosperous state."
"Today is not only a celebration of the past, but a resounding affirmation that Ukraine proudly remains – and will remain – a sovereign and independent nation," Biden said on Wednesday.