Washington Pledges Fresh $400 Million Weapons Package for Ukraine

The US Defense Department announced Thursday it will provide Ukraine with more air defense capabilities, Stinger missiles, missiles for the HAWK air defense system, and four Avenger air defense systems as part of a $400 million- worth of presidential drawdown authority security assistance package.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stressed during the briefing that the additional air defense capabilities are critical due to Russia’s unrelenting and brutal air attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

Commenting on the new package, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during a press briefing at the White House that the US weapons would complement other air defense contributions announced by allies and partners.

He explained that as Russia continues to use cruise missiles and Iranian-made drones to attack critical civilian infrastructure, the four Avenger air defense systems equipped with Stinger missiles and the missiles for Hawk air defense systems will be critical for Ukraine.

Singh said that the unspecified number of HAWK missiles the US will provide Ukraine with are from its own inventory, adding that those missiles would first need to be refurbished with the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative’s funds.

The refurbished missiles will then be paired with HAWK system launchers that have been recently provided by Spain to help Ukraine meet this threat.

According to Singh, the Avenger short-range air defense systems will enable Ukraine to protect its troops and critical infrastructure against unmanned aerial systems and helicopters.

The Pentagon-issued statement points out that the package will also include additional ammunition for HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems); 21,000 155mm artillery rounds, 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, 10,000 120mm mortar rounds, 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), 400 grenade launchers, small arms, optics, and more than 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, demolition equipment for obstacle clearing, and cold weather protective gear.

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