New $550m in US military aid to Ukraine includes more Himars ammunition

US has committed about $6.9bn in security assistance to Kyiv since Russian invasion began in February

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US President Joe Biden's administration on Monday announced another $550 million in military aid to Ukraine, which will include additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars).

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark Milley had held a call with their Ukrainian counterparts on Monday to relay the news about the latest security package.

The Pentagon said the package is the 17th drawdown of equipment from its inventories that has been earmarked for Ukraine since August 2021 and includes 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as well as ammunition for Himars.

The weapon is a mobile unit that can simultaneously launch several precision-guided missiles. Russia also operates multiple-rocket launchers, but Himars has superior range and precision, with rockets able to fly as far as 80 kilometres.

Longer-range rocket fire is seen as crucial in the conflict, as Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to engage in a brutal artillery and missile fight across the relatively open terrain of the eastern Donbas region.

The US has trained more than 100 Ukrainian troops on operating the launchers.

In total, the Pentagon said, the US has sent about $8.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021 and roughly $6.9bn since the Russian invasion in February.

Updated: August 01, 2022, 8:45 PM
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