According to three people briefed on the topic, the Biden administration’s next security support package for Ukraine is estimated to be $1 billion, one of the largest so far, and will include munitions for long-range weaponry and armored medical transport trucks.
The package is anticipated to be unveiled as early as Monday and would add to the approximately $8.8 billion in help provided by the US to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
According to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, President Joe Biden has not yet signed the latest weapons package. They warned that the value and content of weapons shipments can alter before they are signed.
If signed in its current form, it would be worth $1 billion and comprise HIMARS munitions, NASAMS surface-to-air missile system ammo, and up to 50 M113 armored medical vehicles.
The latest package comes on the heels of a recent Pentagon decision to enable Ukrainians to receive medical treatment at a US military facility near the Ramstein air base in Germany. more info
The Pentagon announced a second security assistance package for Ukraine worth up to $550 million last Monday, which included extra ammo for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
The White House did not respond to questions about the package.
The new package would be paid using the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows the president to sanction the transfer of goods and services from US inventories without requiring congressional approval in the event of an emergency.
The artillery engagement between Ukraine and Russia has been described as “grinding” with minimal movement of the front line in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
Since Russian troops crossed the border in February in what Putin described as a “special military operation” the conflict has devolved into a battle of attrition fought mostly in Ukraine’s east and south.
Moscow is attempting to retake control of the mostly Russian-speaking Donbas, which includes the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, where pro-Russian insurgents gained territory after the Kremlin grabbed Crimea to the south in 2014.
So far, the US has deployed 16 HIMARS to Ukraine and pledged to send two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems on July 1. (NASAMS). more info
It was unclear whether the NASAMS launchers, developed jointly by Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N) and Norway’s Kongsberg (KOG.OL), were already in Ukraine, or if the munitions were for launchers given by another country.
Ukraine had already received 200 M113 armored personnel carriers from the United States.
The armored personnel carriers equipped with medical equipment might make the struggle against Russia more bearable for Ukrainian troops, who could then be flown to Germany for additional medical treatment.
In June, the Kyiv administration claimed that 100 to 200 Ukrainian troops were killed per day.