U.S. announces new military aid for Ukraine worth over $2B
The U.S. announced on Friday a new arms package for Ukraine worth over $2 billion, including for the first time long-range HIMARS rockets sought by Kyiv, as the Biden administration seeks to further bolster the war-torn country.
The new tranche of military aid includes the precision-guided long-range weapons for the HIMARS system as well as conventional rockets previously sent to Ukraine.
It also includes air-defense and counter-drone weapons, armored infantry vehicles, Javeline anti-tank missiles, and artillery ammunition, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
"The United States also continues to rally the world to support Ukraine. We have seen incredible solidarity from our allies and partners," Blinken said in a statement.
"We applaud the more than 50 countries who have come together in solidarity with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia alone could end its unprovoked war today. Until it does so, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes," the top diplomat added.
The aid includes a $425-million drawdown of military equipment from existing U.S. stocks, and an additional $1.75 billion from the Pentagon's Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
The long-range HIMARS rockets are what is known as Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB), and will allow Ukrainian forces to have a longer range from which to strike targets using the multiple rocket launcher system.
"That will enable them again to conduct operations in defense of their country and to take back their sovereign territory in Russian occupied areas," Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.
The rockets have a range of 93 miles (150 kilometers), according to a document from Boeing, which produces the GLSDB.