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Date: 26 August 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Western countries declare more weapon supplies to the Ukrainian army. U.S. President Joe Biden marks Ukraine’s Independence Day with Washington’s largest aid package to the war-torn country.
The Pentagon said the $3 billion package would include six additional surface-to-air missile systems known as NASAMS, 24 counter-artillery radars, 245,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, Puma drones, and counter-drone systems known as VAMPIRE. Just specifically on the NASAMS delivery, the Pentagon is expecting that to be within the next two to three months. Most of the heavy weapons will be delivered later under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which means the U.S. will buy the weapons through contracts instead of drawing from existing Defense Department inventory and sending them immediately. But Defense Undersecretary Colin Kahl says Ukraine will get most of these heavy weapons in up to three years. The Ukrainian army should get ammunition quickly as arms companies have it in their inventories. On August 8, the Pentagon announced $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine that includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and NASAMS, 20 120 mm mortar systems, and 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition. The U.S. has provided $12 billion in weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded. Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, on August 23 said this fall Ukraine should receive a batch of Western anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems to help close Ukrainian airspace. Slovakia will send 30 tracked infantry fighting BVP-1 vehicles to Ukraine as it will receive 15 Leopard tanks from Germany, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad informed. Slovakia has already donated to Ukraine an S-300 air defense system, Mi-series military helicopters, self-propelled howitzers, and Grad multiple-rocket launcher rockets. On August 23, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to send Ukraine €500,000 worth of weapons that include IRIS-T surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems alongside 20 rocket launchers, rounds of ammunition, anti-drone systems, and 12 armored recovery vehicles. The problem is the time it takes for the weapons to get to Ukraine, which is by 2023. The UK and Norway are jointly to supply Black Hornet microdrones to Ukraine for reconnaissance, target identification, and weapons-damage assessment. All these weapons will strengthen the Ukrainian military, mostly its defense capabilities albeit not immediately. The authorities in Kyiv say they cannot capture Russian-occupied territories but for tanks, planes, and high-range artillery.
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