The Department of Defense (DoD) plans to send millions of dollars worth of new military aid to Ukraine under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), the agency said Friday.
The aid package, which aims to help build the long-term defense of the sovereignty of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, announced on Nov. 4 that Washington’s ongoing support to help meet the country’s “most urgent needs.” “emphasize” support. press release the Department of Defense said.
The Department of Defense will send 45 modified T-72B tanks with advanced optics, communications, and armor packages, 1,100 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Air Systems, and 40 armored Riverline boats.
In addition, funding will be provided to retrofit HAWK air defense missiles for inclusion in future Presidential Drawdown packages and 250 M1117 armored security vehicles. The department also funds training, maintenance, and upkeep activities.
Ukraine will also be provided with tactical secure communications and surveillance systems. The T-72B tank included in the package is part of a trilateral collaboration between the United States, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
“Unlike the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which the Department of Defense has continued to leverage to provide Ukraine with equipment from DoD inventories at a historic pace, the USAI is an authority for the United States to procure capabilities from industry. .”
“This announcement marks the beginning of the contracting process to provide additional priority features to Ukraine,” said the release.
Since Biden took office, the United States has pledged more than $18.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, of which $18.2 billion came after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24. Since 2014, more than $21 billion in security assistance has been provided.
The Pentagon is also sending arms experts to Ukraine to inspect the weapons it has supplied to the war-torn country. The decision comes in the wake of growing concerns about accountability for these weapons, particularly how Ukraine uses them.
October 31st briefinga senior defense official said the Defense Department “sees no credible evidence” that US-supplied weapons have been diverted.
“Instead, we see Ukrainian front-line forces effectively providing security assistance on the battlefield every day. and we are actively taking all available measures to prevent this,” he said.
Earlier, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, California) said there would be no “blank check” for Ukraine if Republicans won a majority in the House.
In an interview with CNBC, McCarthy reiterated his position that while Ukraine is very important, the US already has $31 trillion in debt and should not black-check anything. pointed out.