The Defense Department today announced a $400 million tranche of military aid to Ukraine, including additional ammunition for recently delivered National Advanced Surface-to-Air-Missile Systems to help defend against Russian missile barrages and unmanned drones.
“With Russia's unrelenting and brutal missile and [unmanned aerial system] attacks on Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities remain an urgent priority,” DOD said. “The additional munitions for NASAMS and heavy machine guns will help Ukraine counter these urgent threats.”
The deadly seriousness of the air defense challenge was highlighted last week when a Ukrainian missile, aiming to intercept an incoming Russian missile, apparently struck a site in Poland, killing two civilians, according to the United States, NATO and the Polish government.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that “the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident.”
The $400 million in aid, meanwhile, is being provided via presidential “drawdown” authority and will be transferred directly from U.S. stocks.
Along with additional munitions for NSAMS, capabilities in the package include:
The package is the 26th drawdown of equipment from DOD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.
In total, the United States has committed more than $19.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, with more than $19 billion sent since the beginning of the ongoing Russian invasion in February.
“To meet Ukraine's evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” DOD said.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has requested that Congress approve a $38 billion emergency supplemental package for Ukraine, including more than $21 billion for DOD to continue providing military aid.