US Defense Department commits extra $300 mn in security aid to Ukraine

The US Department of Defense announced on Friday that it will allocate $ 300 million in “security assistance” to Ukraine to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities, adding to the $ 1.6 billion that Washington has committed since Russia invaded in late February.

The package includes laser-guided rocket systems, drones, ammunition, night vision, tactically secure communication systems, medical equipment and spare parts.

“This decision underscores the United States’ steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of its heroic efforts to repel Russia’s election war,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed “additional capabilities” to help the Ukrainian military, the White House said in a statement after the talks.

In mid-March, Congress passed a funding bill that included $ 13.6 billion for humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

Shortly afterwards, Biden announced $ 1 billion in new security assistance to Ukraine.

Much of the military equipment that the United States has provided to Ukraine has come from its own warehouse, through a process known as a “presidential drawdown.”

Unlike that process, the $ 300 million announced last Friday will go to new contracts for military equipment from Pentagon’s defense industry partners.

One of the techniques included in the announcement is more Switchblade tactical drones.

Studded “kamikaze drones”, Switchblades can be controlled by an operator to find and, when ready, crash into a target and explode on contact.

Kirby added that “the United States also continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide additional capacity to the Ukrainians.”

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