US to send Ukraine more Strykers and Bradleys in new $325M aid package
Stars and Stripes June 13, 2023
WASHINGTON — The United States is sending up to $325 million in additional aid to Ukraine that includes more Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
The military aid also includes Javelin missiles and munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.
The aid is the 40th time that the U.S. has provided weapons and equipment through the presidential drawdown authority, which means it will come directly from Pentagon stocks and be sent quickly on an emergency basis. Aid given this way typically means it reaches Ukraine in a matter of weeks.
“The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The new aid follows news reports that Ukraine has lost more than a dozen Bradley Fighting Vehicles after its troops began a long-anticipated counteroffensive last week against invading Russian forces. The announcement also comes after the Pentagon announced Friday a long-term U.S. arms sale of $2.1 billion focused on air-defense munitions.
Including the last two aid packages, the U.S. has provided more than $40 billion to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is traveling to Brussels now with Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to meet with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on June 15 and NATO defense ministers on June 16.
The in-person meeting with the defense contact group, a collection of about 50 nations that convenes regularly to decide what equipment Ukrainian troops need to fend off Russian forces, is the 13th since Austin formed the international group in April 2022.
The list of weapons and items in the package include:
• Additional munitions for NASAMS.
• Stinger anti-aircraft systems.
• Additional ammunition for HIMARS.
• 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.
• 15 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
• 10 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers.
• Javelin anti-armor systems.
• Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided missiles.
• AT-4 anti-armor systems.
• More than 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades.
• Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing.
• Tactical secure communications support equipment.
• Spare parts and other field equipment.