The US will send Ukraine another $1.1 billion in military materiel as the eastern European nation enters its eighth month of war with Russia, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
The package will include 18 additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS; 150 Humvees; 150 tactical vehicles to tow weapons; 40 trucks and 80 trailers for moving heavy equipment; two radars for aerial drones; 20 multi-mission radars; secure communications and surveillance systems; explosive ordnance disposal equipment and body armor, according to the Defense Department.
Some of the money will be used to support “training, maintenance and sustainment,” according to the Pentagon. It will also include an undisclosed number of counter-drone systems.
The announcement came one day after US officials confirmed Russia has begun using Iran-provided drones to attack and surveil Ukrainian troops.
“In terms of their effectiveness, I don’t want to provide a battle damage assessment here from the podium or get into specific intelligence other than to say we’ve seen [Russia] employ [Iranian drones],” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Tuesday. “We’ve also seen reports of the Ukrainians shooting down some of these drones … [and] we assess that those are credible.”
The items will come through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which allows the US to purchase and procure weapons and other military capabilities for Ukraine rather than sending along items from the Pentagon’s own stocks.
The bulk of the aid will be delivered in six months to two years because it must first be procured, according to a senior defense official.
“This USAI package underscores the US commitment to supporting Ukraine over the long term,” the official said Wednesday. “It represents a multi-year investment in critical capabilities to build the enduring strength of Ukraine’s armed forces as it continues to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression.”
It remains unclear how long the war will continue. Russian President Vladimir Putin last week directed the mobilization of 300,000 additional reservists to join the fight. A senior US military official in August estimated Russia had suffered as many as 80,000 casualties since the start of the war Feb. 24.
“Mobilization indicates that Russia continues to believe that it can win the long game by outlasting the Ukrainians and international support,” the official said. “This is yet another Russian miscalculation … the United States along with the international community will continue to support the Ukrainian people in their fight to defend our country.”