The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced an additional security package for Ukraine valued at up to USD 200 M (EUR 183 M) on 14 August 2023.
The package, the latest measure to assist Ukraine in repelling the Russian invasion of the country, includes critical munitions for US-provided Patriot air defence systems and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), among other items. It marks the 44th drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.
The items are being provisioned as part of the USD 6.2 Bn in presidential drawdown authority restored in June following a re-evaluation of the total value of items already committed to Ukraine.
“Today we are announcing the next package of security assistance to aid Ukraine as it defends its territory and protects its people,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on 14 August. “This package … includes air defence munitions, artillery rounds, anti-armour capabilities, and additional mine-clearing equipment.
“Every day, Russia is killing Ukrainian civilians and destroying civil infrastructure, while also weaponising hunger and contributing to global food insecurity through its destruction of Ukraine’s civilian ports and grain infrastructure,” Blinken added. “Russia started this war and could end it at any time by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine and stopping its brutal attacks. Until it does, the United States and our allies and partners will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes.”
The Biden administration has committed more than USD 43 Bn in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, according to the US DoD. That assistance has included more than 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, more than 10,000 Javelin anti-armour systems, and more than two million 155 mm artillery rounds, among other items.
This has required a ramping up of US production of these types of munition. Douglas R Bush, assistant secretary of the US Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said on 7 August, “The US Army is committed to and will succeed at maintaining our stocks sufficient for training and readiness of the US Army, while also supporting our ally, Ukraine, with what they need, working as part of an international team to make sure that happens.”
Bush added that the United States is currently producing new artillery rounds at a rate of 24,000 per month and is on track to produce in excess of 80,000 rounds per month over the following year.
“As a whole, the team is doing great,” he said. “We’re both modernising our industrial base while we’re ramping up production.”