The US unveiled another massive arms package intended for Ukraine on Friday, bringing the total amount of weapons for Kyiv to $6.9 billion since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on February 24.
The Pentagon announced $820 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine, which includes a Presidential Drawdown of $50 million and $770 million in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds.
The fourteenth Presidential Drawdown will include more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale said in a statement.
The USAI will include two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), four counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, Breasseale said.
The security assistance to Ukraine 🇺🇦 continues.
We just announced a new package that includes National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems. We’re also sending more ammunition for 155mm Howitzers and HIMARS — two systems already providing powerful battlefield capability. pic.twitter.com/9kFYBehY2b
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) July 1, 2022
Under the USAI, the US procures the weapons instead of delivering equipment drawn from the Pentagon’s stocks.
Breasseale also singled out Norway for its cooperation in providing air defense systems that will help Ukraine “defend against Russia’s brutal air attacks.”
“The United States continues to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its evolving battlefield requirements,” he added.
A senior US defense official told reporters that Russia was paying “a very steep price,” but also noted that Ukraine was paying a “great price as well.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was committed to the independence, security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) July 1, 2022
In a statement authorizing the drawdown of arms and equipment from the Pentagon’s inventories, Blinken said Washington’s commitment to the Ukrainian people “will not waver.”