The new package of military assistance from the United States was announced today, on August 8, in a statement published by the US Department of Defense. It includes lots of additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and 155mm shells for the M777 howitzers.
The idea is that Ukrainian Armed Forces "have the ammunition to keep those in the fight", as explained by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin H. Kahl during a briefing at the Pentagon.
He underlined that so far Ukraine has received 16 HIMARS rocket launchers from the US, three similar M270 systems from Great Britain and three more MARS II from Germany:
"Our assessment is actually is that Ukrainians are doing pretty well in terms of the numbers of systems, and really the priority right now is that they have a steady stream of these GMLRS. And the same is true on the M777 howitzers."
The full list of the equipment provided by the United States is the following:
- Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
- 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition;
- 20 120mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of 120mm mortar ammunition;
- Munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS);
- 1,000 Javelin and hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems;
- 50 armored medical treatment vehicles;
- Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
- C-4 explosives, demolition munitions, and demolition equipment;
- Medical supplies, to include first aid kits, bandages, monitors, and other equipment.
At first look, the missiles for the NASAMS catch the eye. Ukraine officially has not received those yet. About a week ago, a Pentagon official, cited by Interfax-Ukraine, said the process of acquiring these Norwegian anti-aircraft missile systems for further transfer to Ukraine had already begun but the deadline for delivery was still unknown.
It could be that the United States is supplying those in advance which means the agreements have been finalized. The systems themselves are expected to arrive "in the next few months", Colin Kahl said at the briefing.
Also, there are 20 units of 120mm mortar systems. According to U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, American Army operates three variants of 120 mm mortar systems. M121 in two variants is a mounted variant whereas M120 is a dismounted one. Which one will go to Ukraine, is not specified in the DOD release. The United States have not supplied mortars to Ukraine before.
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