The United States pledged nearly $3 billion in aid for Ukraine, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.
The most recent package will come from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which allows the Department of Defense to contract with industry partners to procure equipment. Unlike some previous aid, which comes from the country’s existing stockpile, this aid can come over several years.
The package includes six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems with munitions, up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, up to 65,000 rounds of 120 mortar ammunition, up to 24 counter-artillery radars, Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems, support equipment for Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems announced in last week’s package, VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and laster-guided rocket systems.
The assistance also includes funds for training, maintenance and sustainment, according to the DoD announcement.
With this package, as well as the previous ones announced, the United States has sent a total of $13.5 billion in assistance to Ukraine since January 2021.
This is the largest single package for Ukraine that the U.S. has announced, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said during a press briefing Wednesday.
“This may be our largest security assistance package to date,” Kahl said. “But let me be clear, it will not be our last. We will continue to closely consult with Ukraine on its near, mid and long term capability needs.”
This items included in the package will be delivered over several years, Kahl said, with some coming within months and others in three years. The delay provides enough time to train Ukrainians on the equipment.
Providing equipment over several years is not necessarily a sign that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will last that long, Kahl said. It instead is a sign to Putin that the United States will not stop assisting Ukraine, as it appears one of Putin’s tactics may be to wait Ukraine, the United States and allies out, he added.
The package is relevant whether the war extends or the war ends, Kahl said. Even if Russia leaves Ukraine, the country will need to be able to deter further aggression.
“The package of capabilities here are really aimed at getting Ukraine what they’re going to need in the medium to long term so it’s not relevant to the fight today, tomorrow next week,” he said. “It is relevant to the ability of Ukraine to defend itself and deter further aggression a year from now, two years from now.”