The Pentagon has announced a $400 million weapons package for Ukraine including -- for the first time -- four Avenger air defense systems to protect against attacks from Russian unmanned drones and helicopters.
The package, which will be transferred to Ukraine directly from U.S. stocks of presidential “drawdown” authority, includes:
Today’s announcement marks the 25th drawdown of equipment from Defense Department stocks for Ukraine since August 2021.
“With Russia's unrelenting and brutal air attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities are critical,” DOD said.
The HAWK missiles, which will be refurbished using Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, “will complement Spain's recent commitment of HAWK launchers to help Ukraine meet this threat,” DOD said.
Meanwhile, the four Avenger short-range air defense systems “will also provide Ukraine with capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against unmanned aerial systems and helicopters,” DOD said.
In total, the United States has committed more than $19.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, with $18.6 billion coming since the beginning of an ongoing Russian invasion.