US Plans New Arms Shipment to Ukraine

$820M package includes surface-to-air missile systems
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2022 5:07 PM CDT
US Plans New Arms Shipment to Ukraine
A man tries to salvage belongings Friday in an apartment damaged in a Russian rocket attack in the city center of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

The US announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with $820 million in new military aid, including new surface-to-air missile systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia's heavy reliance on long-range strikes in the war. Russia in recent days has launched dozens of missiles across Ukraine and pinned down Ukrainian forces with continuous fire for sometimes hours at a time, the AP reports. Ukraine's leaders have publicly called on Western allies to quickly send more ammunition and advanced systems that will help them narrow the gap in equipment and manpower.

All told, the US now has committed more than $8.8 billion in weapons and military training to Ukraine, whose leaders have sought more help from Western allies to repel larger and heavily equipped Russian forces. About $7 billion of that aid has been announced since Russia's February invasion. "We are going to support Ukraine as long as it takes," President Biden said this week during the NATO summit in Madrid. The US is giving Ukrainians "the capacity" to "continue to resist the Russian aggression," Biden said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Biden for the shipment in a tweet Friday, per CNBC.

Much of the aid formally announced Friday will take weeks or months to reach Ukraine. As part of the package, the US will purchase two systems known as NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system that is used to protect the airspace around the White House and Capitol in Washington. A senior defense official told reporters the NASAMS are intended to help Ukraine transition away from using Soviet-era air defense systems, which, besides being well known to the Russians, have to be repaired with spare parts that are hard to procure. The Pentagon will also provide the Ukrainians with up to 150,000 rounds of 155-millimeter artillery ammunition. And the Pentagon will buy four counter-artillery radars for Ukraine.

(Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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