The money comes from a Presidential Drawdown (PDA) of equipment from the Pentagon’s inventories—the 15th such authorization for Ukraine since August 2021 under the Biden administration.
The latest security aid will be “especially important and effective in assisting Ukraine and coping with the Russian artillery battle” in Ukraine’s Donbas region, a senior defense official told reporters on July 8.
The security assistance package includes four additional High Mobility Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and additional ammunition for the systems. The systems have a range of about 40 miles and allow Ukraine forces the power to strike faraway targets with more accuracy.
The senior defense official told reporters the additional HIMARS would bring the total number of these systems to 12.
“As the United States surged HIMARS systems and the missiles for those systems, that Ukraine has now been successfully striking Russian locations in Ukraine, deeper behind the front lines, and disrupting Russia’s ability to conduct that artillery operation,” he added.
The aid package would also include three tactical vehicles to recover equipment and 1,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition.
“This is a new type of 155-millimeter artillery ammunition,” the senior defense official told reporters. “It has greater precision. It offers Ukraine precise capability for specific targets. It will save ammunition. It will be more effective due to the precision, so it’s a further evolution in our support for Ukraine in this battle in the Donbas.”
The package furthermore includes demolition munitions, counter-battery systems, as well as other equipment and spare parts.
Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale said on July 8 that since the start of the Biden administration, the Pentagon has committed about $8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, of which $2.2 billion were committed in the past three weeks.
Just last week, the Biden administration announced a security assistance package worth $820 million that included two surface-to-air missile systems.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the United States had committed some $1.8 billion in weapons and military training to Ukraine, $700 million of which came from the Biden administration.