US To Provide Ukraine $1.2 Bln For Air Defense Against Russia's Missile, Drone Attacks

The United States has announced additional security assistance package to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

Announcing the latest round of US military package, the Department of Defense said the package, worth $1.2 billion, is mainly aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses and sustain its artillery ammunition needs.

“This USAI package underscores the continued U.S. commitment to meeting Ukraine’s most urgent requirements by committing critical near-term capabilities, such as air defense systems and munitions, while also building the capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a news conference.

The new funding will be used to procure more 155 mm artillery rounds and provide sustainment support to enable Ukraine to better maintain its on-hand systems and equipments.

Other capabilities include additional air defense systems and munitions equipment to integrate Western air-defense launchers, missiles and radars with Ukraine’s air-defense systems. The Russians have launched waves of missiles into Ukraine, whose military has been adept at knocking them down. The package also contains ammunition to shoot down unmanned aerial systems, commercial, satellite-imagery services and support for training, maintenance and sustainment activities.

Gen. Ryder said the United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements.

This package is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

The presidential drawdown authority allows the United States to send equipment already in military stocks to Ukraine, while USAI allows the Defense Department to let contracts for equipment to be delivered later.

“The USAI gives us the ability to leverage the power and the capabilities of the private sector in order to support Ukraine’s medium- and long-term security assistance needs,” Ryder told reporters.

The United States is one of many nations providing training for Ukrainian forces in its fight against Russian forces. U.S. training continues at Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.

“We will be able to maintain that support and that capability to train Ukrainians as long as the demand is there,” Ryder said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a routine briefing that unless or until Russian President Vladimir Putin ends the unjustified war against the people of Ukraine, the United States and its allies and partners will work to help Ukraine achieve the peace and security they deserve.

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