Ukraine war

US preparing a $2 billion-plus aid package for Ukraine with longer-range missiles

Local residents remove debris from a house of their neighbour damaged by a Russian military strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Hlevakha, outside Kyiv, Ukraine January 26, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

Two US sources briefed on the topic told Reuters on Tuesday that the United States is preparing more than $2 billion in military aid for Ukraine, which is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time and other munitions and weapons.

According to officials, the aid is anticipated to be released as early as this week. In addition, support equipment for Patriot air defence systems, precision-guided missiles, and Javelin anti-tank weapons are expected to be included.

One of the officials stated that a portion of the package, estimated to be $1.75 billion, would come from a fund known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which permits the administration of President Joe Biden to acquire weapons from the private sector rather than from US weapons stocks.

The USAI funding would be used to acquire a new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) manufactured by Boeing Co, with a 94-mile range (150 km). The United States has denied Ukraine's requests for ATACMS missiles with a range of 185 miles (297 kilometres).

The extended range of the GLSDB glide bomb could enable Ukraine to assault previously inaccessible targets and prolong its counterattacks by weakening Russia's defences further behind its lines.

In November, Reuters first reported Boeing's proposal to deploy GLSDB in Ukraine. It was anticipated that GLSDB would be in Ukraine by spring.

SAAB AB and Boeing jointly manufacture GLSDB. It combines the ordinary GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the M26 rocket motor.

According to SAAB's website, GLSDB is GPS-guided, resistant to electronic jamming, useable in all weather situations, and effective against armoured vehicles. The GBU-39, which would serve as the GLSDB's warhead, features tiny, collapsible wings that enable it to fly more than 100km if dropped from an aircraft and attack targets as small as 1 meter (3 feet) in diameter.

One of the individuals stated that the USAI funding would also be used to pay for additional HAWK air defence components, counter-drone systems, counter artillery and air observation radars, communications equipment, PUMA drones, and spare parts for critical systems such as Patriot and Bradley.

According to the official, a considerable amount of medical equipment, enough to outfit three field hospitals, was also supplied by another ally.

White House officials declined to respond. The contents and amount of aid packages will change until the president signs them.

In addition to the USAI funds, it was anticipated that more than $400 million in relief would come via the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which authorizes the president to withdraw from current US stocks in times of need.

This assistance was anticipated to include mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs), guided multiple launch rocket systems (GMLRS), and ammo.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the US has provided around $27.2 billion in security aid. The Russian government refers to the invasion as a "special operation."

Publish : 2023-02-01 11:36:00

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