Continuous Escalation

White House Announces $225 Million Weapons Package for Ukraine

The Pentagon says the latest shipment will bring US weapons transfer to Ukraine to nearly $52 billion

June 7, 2024

The Joe Biden administration announced a $225 million weapons transfer to Ukraine on Friday. The package includes ammunition for HIMARS missile launchers that Biden recently gave Kiev permission to use for attacks inside Russia.

According to a Department of Defense press release, the US will transfer the weapons directly from US stockpiles to Ukraine. Biden authorized the transfer through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which Congress funded in the $95 billion foreign military aid bill passed earlier this year.

The shipment includes:

  • Missiles for HAWK air defense systems
  • Stinger anti-aircraft missiles
  • Ammunition for HIMARS
  • 155mm Howitzers
  • 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds
  • 81mm mortar systems
  • M113 Armored Personnel Carriers
  • Trailers to transport heavy equipment
  • Coastal and riverine patrol boats
  • TOW missiles
  • Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems
  • Small arms ammunition and grenades
  • Demolitions munitions
  • Night vision devices

In a post on X, Secretary of State Antony Blinken touted that the package would strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses. “The United States is announcing a new military aid package to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses and support its brave forces,” he wrote. However, the list of weapons systems notably lacks any Patriot or NASAMS interceptors and only includes the older MIM-23 HAWK and shoulder-fired Stinger missiles.

As Russia has stepped up its missile and bomb attacks on Ukraine, Kiev has lacked the air defense systems to protect its front-line troops, cities, and key infrastructure. The advantage has allowed Russia to make territorial gains, and lead to power outages in Ukraine. Zelensky has pleaded with members of NATO to send Patriot systems to Ukraine but with little success in recent months.

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The package does include ammunition for the HIMARS launchers, although the Pentagon did not specify what type of missile. The US sent Ukraine multiple types of ammunition for HIMARS, including missiles with a range of 50 miles, a cluster variant with a range of 100 miles, and the ATACMS systems with a range of nearly 200 miles.

The White House recently gave Kiev the green light to use the HIMARS system to conduct attacks inside Russia. Ukrainian officials claimed that Kiev was able to take out two Russian missile defense systems inside Russia with missiles fired from HIMARS.

* Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

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