Stars and Stripes
June 1, 2022
Four medium-range rocket systems will be included in the latest $700 million U.S. military aid package after continued calls by Ukrainian officials for the weapons, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said Wednesday.
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, can strike targets roughly 50 miles away and are expected to help “provide Ukraine additional precision in targeting at [a longer] range,” Kahl told reporters at the Pentagon.
By comparison, the M777 howitzer, the last significant artillery system that the U.S. provided Ukraine, has a maximum range of 15 miles. The U.S. has sent approximately 108 of those 155mm cannons to Ukraine since April.
The weapons and equipment in the latest aid package also includes four Mi-17 helicopters, 15 tactical vehicles, five counter-artillery radars, two air surveillance radars, 1,000 Javelin missiles, 6,000 anti-armor weapons, 15,000 155mm artillery rounds and “various spare parts,” Kahl said.
The aid package announced Wednesday will be the first to come from the new $40 billion supplemental funding approved by Congress on May 19, which allotted about $11 billion for military aid for Ukraine.
With the latest announcement, the U.S. has committed roughly $5.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration – about $4.6 billion of which was sent since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, according to the Pentagon.