The package includes funding for 18 units of the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS. (file photo)
The United States will provide an additional $1.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including funding for about 18 more advanced rocket systems and other weapons to counter drones, the White House announced on September 28.
The package is aimed at helping Ukraine secure its longer-term defense needs under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds the purchase of weapons and equipment. This means it could take a year or more for Ukraine to get the systems.
Most of the other military aid packages announced by the United States have thus far used Pentagon drawdown authority to provide weapons more immediately.
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The new package "represents a multi-year investment in critical capabilities to build the enduring strength of Ukraine's Armed Forces" as they continue to battle the invading Russian Army, the Pentagon said in a statement .
The package includes funding for 18 units of the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS, and 12 Titan systems, which are used to counter drones. The Pentagon and Ukrainian military leaders say HIMARS have been key to Ukraine's recent battlefield successes. Titan systems will be deployed against Iranian-made drones that Russian forces have started to use to target Ukrainian forces. The announcement came after what Western countries say were “sham” referendums held in parts of Russian-occupied Ukraine on joining Russia. “We will not be deterred from supporting Ukraine, we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people, and provide them with the security assistance they need to defend themselves, for as long as it takes,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said. Also in the package is funding for about 150 armored vehicles, 150 tactical vehicles for towing weapons, trucks and trailers, and a variety of radars, communications, and surveillance equipment. The United States has now committed approximately $16.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021.