The United States plans to provide more assistance to Ukraine with another $400 million Presidential Withdrawal Authority security package. This latest set of equipment and supplies includes something the United States has yet to send to Ukraine: 1,000 155mm artillery shells touted as having higher accuracy.
“It’s a new kind [of] 155mm artillery rounds,” a senior defense official said during a background briefing today at the Pentagon. “It has greater accuracy. It provides Ukraine with a precise capability for specific targets. This will save ammo. It will be more efficient thanks to precision. This is a new development in our support for Ukraine in this battle for Donbass.”
The same official noted that precision rounds, intended for use in the howitzer artillery systems already in place in Ukraine, are something the US military already uses and has in its own stock. The systems are new in that this is the first time the United States has sent them to Ukraine.
The latest pack also includes four additional high-mobility artillery rocket systems that will complement the eight already in place. There is also additional ammunition for these HIMARS systems, some tactical vehicles, demolition ammunition, spare parts and other equipment.
The Russians illegally invaded Ukraine in February and Ukrainians have been fighting ever since to maintain their sovereignty. While it’s unclear how much longer the fighting will continue, the top defense official says what is clear is the US commitment to continue helping Ukraine to maintain its independence.
“From a security assistance perspective, it’s a steady drumbeat now, and it’s a long-term commitment to Ukraine,” the official said. “We will be ready for whatever the experts tell us is necessary for the battlefield.”
The United States, the official said, has been providing training to Ukrainians since 2015. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States has provided, among other things, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-armour systems, a Switchblade unmanned aircraft, howitzer artillery systems and shells, helicopters, tactical vehicles, ammunition, radar systems, HIMARS, body armor, helmets and Harpoon launch systems for coastal defense.