Ukraine will be getting eighteen additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) as part of a new $1.1 billion military aid package under USAI the Biden Administration has approved for the country, Pentagon officials announced Wednesday.
The additional HIMARS will be sent under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which means that they will be newly manufactured and shipped to Kyiv once finished instead of being taken from the preexisting U.S. weapons stocks.
This delivery method allows the U.S. stocks to avoid the risk of being too quickly depleted and enables the U.S. government to plan out weapons shipments in the mid and long-term.
Commenting on this USAI package, a senior defense official pointed out that it represents a multiyear investment in the critical capabilities of Kyiv’s armed forces to build their enduring strength while continuing to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression.
It also underscores the Biden Administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine over the long term.
The USAI package brings the security assistance Washington committed to Ukraine since February to more than $16.2 billion.
It also contains HIMARS-associated ammunitions, 40 trucks and 80 trailers to help Ukrainian troops transport heavy equipment, and 150 armored high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles.
Also included are additional radars for drones, mine and bomb disposal equipment, body armor and field equipment communication, and surveillance systems.
Most of the package, as the Pentagon expects, should be delivered to Ukraine in six to 24 months since the Biden administration has been using presidential drawdown authority to send arms more quickly
HIMARS, which give the Ukraine forces the ability to strike targets about 50 miles away and has been crucial in helping Kyiv’s counteroffensive against Moscow, was first sent by the Biden administration, which has committed aid worth $17 billion to Ukraine, in June.