Artillery vehicle

Ukraine gets the equivalent of an artillery battalion in new $100m aid package

WASHINGTON — The United States is sending Ukraine an additional $100 million in military assistance, including heavy artillery and counter-artillery radar, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

The set is equivalent to the artillery of a US battalion – 18 M115 howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow them and 18 artillery tubes – as well as three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars, the attaché said. Pentagon press officer, John Kirby.

“This stuff is going to sink [from the U.S. to Ukraine] very soon,” Kirby said. “You can imagine seeing us do this in the past, we’re not going to sit idly by. We’re going to start pulling this stuff right away. These are all things we’ve provided in the past, so there’s a process in place for this.

This is the 10th installment of equipment sent from US military stockpiles to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, totaling $3.9 billion in military aid. It ends the authority approved by Congress in March.

Congress sent President Joe Biden a new $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package Thursday. Much of it is intended to supply major weapons systems to counter Russia as the war escalates in southern and eastern Ukraine.

US defense officials said artillery would be essential in this phase of the war. The “vast majority” of the 90 US howitzers previously sent to Ukraine are “on the front lines at various locations in Ukraine, and the Ukrainians are using them quite effectively,” Kirby said.

As Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy sought more sophisticated weapons, Reuters reported that the White House was considering providing anti-ship missiles to counter a Russian naval blockade. Experts say blocking shipments of Ukrainian agricultural exports risks causing global starvation.

“I’m not going to speculate on systems that haven’t even shipped or been approved for shipment yet,” Kirby said. “Regarding the blockade, we recognize the economic impact it has. This is an issue that the interagency is talking about and the global community is talking about.

Joe Gould is a senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.