The US announces a $3.8 billion security package for Ukraine, European allies


A Bradley backs into an airplane loading bay in this image from 2012. Bradley combat vehicles, capable of carrying both infantry and tanks, are faster and more mobile than comparable vehicle types currently available to Ukraine. They also have a greater effective weapon range than Russian tanks.

Photo: Tech. Sergeant Michael O Halloran | US Army | FlickrCC

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday announced nearly $3.8 billion in security aid to Ukraine and European allies, Washington’s largest package since its full-scale invasion of Russia began nearly a year ago.

The upcoming military aid package, the 29th of that tranche, brings the US commitment to Ukraine’s struggle to about $24.9 billion since the start of the Biden administration.

The aid includes $2.9 billion in weapons to be delivered to Ukraine immediately and $225 million in long-term funding to support Ukraine’s military. The package also includes $682 million in foreign military funding to rebuild the arsenals of European allies.

The $2.85 billion weapons package includes Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles and munitions.

New in this relief package are 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, armored tracked vehicles manufactured by the US defense company BAE systems. Bradleys are typically equipped with a rotating turret, mounted 25mm gun and TOW anti-tank missiles. The US will provide 500 TOW anti-tank missiles and 250,000 ammunition for use with the Bradleys.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said it would take “some time” for the vehicles to arrive in Ukraine.

“What I can tell you is we’re going to do it as soon as possible,” Kirby said when asked for a timeline at a briefing at the White House.

He added that “it won’t take very long” for Ukrainian troops to learn how to use the vehicles when US troops train them at a location outside Ukraine.

Also included in the security utility package are:

  • 100 M113 armored cars
  • 55 mine-resistant vehicles with ambush protection
  • 138 multifunctional wheeled vehicles with high mobility
  • 18 self-propelled 155mm howitzers and 18 support vehicles with ammunition
  • 70,000 155mm artillery shells
  • 500 155mm precision guided artillery rounds
  • 1,200 155mm rounds from remote anti-armour mine systems
  • 36 105mm towed howitzers and 95,000 105mm artillery shells
  • 10,000 120mm mortar rounds
  • About 2,000 anti-armor missiles

The US will send additional munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as air defense RIM-7 missiles and 4,000 Zuni aircraft missiles. The Pentagon will also supply Ukraine with sniper rifles, machine guns, grenade launcher and small arms ammunition, as well as night vision goggles, spare parts and other field equipment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked President Joe Biden for the “very powerful” security package during a video message on his official Telegram channel.

“Today a new one has been announced, and a very powerful one! A package of US defense support for our country. For the first time we will receive armored vehicles from Bradleys, this is exactly what is needed,” said Zelenskyy.

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