US to send air-defense munitions and mine-clearing equipment to Ukraine in new $250M aid package
Stars and Stripes August 29, 2023
WASHINGTON — The United States is sending more military aid to Ukraine worth up to $250 million that ranges from air-defense munitions to mine-clearing equipment, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
The military aid also includes 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and Hydra-70 rockets.
“Artillery, missiles, ammunition for HIMARS, demining equipment — that's what our warriors need. Freedom needs protection, and this protection is growing strong,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted Tuesday.
Funding for the new aid comes from $6.2 billion that the Pentagon recently discovered due to an accounting error. Military officials uncovered the error in May and said it gave the Pentagon extra funds to ship weapons and equipment to Ukraine. The aid announced Tuesday is the second time that the Pentagon has dipped into those funds, following a $200 million package on Aug. 14. The aid comes during a counteroffensive by Ukraine troops against Russian forces in various parts of the country’s eastern region to recover occupied territory.
President Joe Biden on Aug. 10 requested Congress approve $24 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine as the last round of funding, about $45 billion, is set to expire at the end of September. Because of the Pentagon’s recalculation, the $6.2 billion would still be available to use after Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
“We’re confident we will have enough money to meet Ukraine’s needs through the fiscal year and we’re hopeful that Congress will approve a supplemental package for Ukraine,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said.
This is the 45th time that the U.S. has provided weapons 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.
Other weapons and items in the new military aid include:
AIM-9M missiles for air defense.
Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.
155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.
Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles.
Javelin and other anti-armor systems and rockets.
More than 3 million rounds of small-arms ammunition.
Armored medical treatment vehicles and High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle ambulances.
Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing.
Spare parts, maintenance, and other field equipment.