WASHINGTON― The US is sending Ukraine another $100 million in military assistance, including heavy artillery and counter-artillery radars, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
The package is the equivalent of an American battalion’s worth of artillery ― 18 115 mm howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow them and 18 artillery tubes― along with three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
“That stuff will flow [from the US to Ukraine] very soon,” Kirby said. “You can imagine having seen us do this in the past, we’re not going to sit on our hands. We’ll start pulling that stuff immediately. These are all items we have provided in the past, so there’s a process in place for that.”
This marks the 10th tranche of equipment sent from US military stocks to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, for a total of $3.9 billion in military aid. It brings to a close the authority approved by Congress in March.
Congress sent President Joe Biden a new $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package on Thursday. Much of it is meant to provide major weapons systems to counter Russia as the war intensifies in Ukraine’s south and east.
US defense officials have said artillery will be critical in this phase of the war. The “vast majority” of the 90 US howitzers previously sent to Ukraine are “on the front lines in various places in Ukraine, and the Ukrainians are using them quite effectively,” Kirby said.
As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought more sophisticated weaponry, Reuters reported the White House is mulling the provision of anti-ship missiles to counter a Russian naval blockade. Experts say preventing shipments of Ukrainian agricultural exports risks a global famine.
“I’m not going to speculate about systems that haven’t even been sent or approved to be sent yet,” Kirby said. “On the blockade, we recognize the economic impact this is having. It’s an issue the interagency is talking about and the world community is talking about.”