As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the Biden administration continues to support the latter with a new commitment to modernizing its armed forces.
On Monday, the United States announced a multi-billion dollar security assistance package for Ukraine.
This will be the largest arms shipment since the start of the conflict in late February.
The military package
The military assistance package will bring the U.S. commitment to more than $9.8 billion and will include ammunition for armored medical transport vehicles and long-range weapons.
The US Auxiliary Set includes ammunition for HIMARS, or High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, twenty 120mm mortar systems, and 20,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition.
Also, the package includes ammunition for advanced domestic surface-to-air missile systems.
Meanwhile, HIMARS are designed to fire various missiles from a moving truck – this is Ukraine’s top priority.
Defense giant Lockheed Martin manufactures the HIMARS.
The Pentagon will also send 1,000 javelins, 50 armored medical treatment vehicles, anti-personnel munitions, explosives, high-explosive munitions and equipment, and hundreds of AT4 anti-tank systems.
Prior to the announcement, the biggest aid package for Ukraine was announced on June 15.
At the time, the tranche was a joint effort of the Presidential Levy Authority and the Security Assistance Initiative of Ukraine.
The incoming package is strictly a presidential withdrawal authority, which means the weapons will come directly from US stocks.
Defense Undersecretary Colin Kahl said the US will not ship HIMARS in the next package, only system ammunition.
He refused to share the number of cartridges in the next shipment.
So far, the US has supplied 16 HIMARS to Ukraine.
“As we have made clear at every level of this administration, we’re committed to continued security assistance for Ukraine as they stand up to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” said Kahl.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken released a statement in which he states:
“We will continue to consult closely with Ukraine and surge additional available systems and capabilities carefully calibrated to make a difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s eventual position at the negotiating table.”
Moscow had previously accused the US of adding fuel to the fire by supplying Ukraine with long-range weapons and missiles.
Russia initially launched its invasion on February 24 and has been scaling back its war targets ever since.
Moscow shifted its military efforts to the eastern Donbass region and southern coastal cities, a decision it made when it failed to capture the Ukrainian capital.
Kahl stressed that Moscow has failed to achieve any of Putin’s “general” goals, noting that Russia has failed to implement regime change or take control of Kiev.
“They [Russian forces] have made some incremental gains in the east – although not very much in the last couple of weeks,” said Kahl.
“But that has come at extraordinary cost to the Russian military because of how well the Ukrainian military has performed and all the assistance that the Ukrainian military has gotten.”
In less than six months, Russian troops suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties, including soldiers killed or wounded in action.
“The war is the most intense conventional conflict in Europe since the Second World War, but the… Ukrainians have a lot of advantages, not the least of which their will to fight,” said Kahl.