As the start of a spring offensive against Russian soldiers draws near, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the U.S. is sending Ukraine some $300 million in extra military supplies, including a massive amount of artillery rounds, howitzers, and ammunition.
The United States has been mum on the precise nature or quantity of the supplies it plans to send to Ukraine in recent months, but this shipment appears consistent with others.
19FortyFive reports that Hydra-70 rockets, which may be launched from aircraft, are part of the new package. Mortars, anti-tank weapons, and an unknown quantity of HIMARS rockets are also included. The weapons will be rushed to the front lines from the Pentagon’s storage facilities.
All necessary trucks, trailers, spare parts, and upkeep aid are included.
This latest shipment will likely use preexisting U.S. stockpiles for ammunition and military equipment. The action will undoubtedly elicit criticism from Republicans who worry that continued backing for Ukraine will weaken the United States military, even though the equipment will get to Ukraine faster than if acquired from private business or elsewhere.
Including this package, the United States has provided $35.7 billion in aid to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began last year.
The Department of Defense notes that the United States has led 11 meetings of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meetings, a coalition of more than 50 nations that have pledged to aid Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
But the deployment of additional air-to-surface missile systems fuels suspicions that Ukraine is getting ready to launch a counteroffensive using its helicopters and fighter jets. But this would be a radical change from Ukraine’s previous strategies. Drones, thus far, have been highly effective on the battlefield, so much so that NATO doesn’t even consider supplying jets to Ukraine.
The brutal combat in Ukraine’s east has lasted all winter, and officials say the weaponry and other equipment will help as they prepare to break the deadlock.