News ID: 108311
Publish Date : 28 October 2022 - 22:31

WASHINGTON (Dispatches) — The Pentagon is sending Ukraine a new $275 million package of weapons and other aid, U.S. officials said Thursday.
The U.S. aid is largely aimed at restocking thousands of rounds of ammunition for weapons systems already there, including for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS.
U.S. officials have faced persistent questions from some members of Congress over how the administration is accounting for the billions of dollars in arms that have been sent to Ukraine over the past year.
The three-prong plan includes short-, medium- and longer-term initiatives to bolster U.S. and Ukrainian oversight of transferred materiel, particularly more advanced missile systems and anti-aircraft devices, as well as to improve Ukraine’s aviation and border security.
The State Department said that so far Ukraine’s intense demand for weapons on the battlefield appears to be impeding black-market proliferation of small arms, portable air defense systems and anti-tank weapons such as Javelins. It said the main problem has been the seizure of weapons by Russian forces as they take ground, and warned that Moscow can use them to develop countermeasures or conduct false-flag operations.
Additional advanced weapons are also en route to Ukraine.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters Thursday that he expects the U.S. will deliver the highly anticipated advanced NASAM air defense systems to Ukraine early next month and train troops on them. The U.S. had committed to delivering two of the medium-range, surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine soon. He said air defense remains the most critical capability that Ukraine needs right now.
Including the new $275 million, the U.S. has now committed nearly $18 billion in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24.
Since the onset of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, the United States and its European allies have been sending a flood of advanced weapons into Ukraine to help its military fend off Russian forces.

* Comment: