WASHINGTON — The White House on Thursday authorized $450 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, which is set to receive four more artillery rocket launchers that the Kyiv government says are needed to repel Russian troops in the Donbass.
National Security Council spokesman John F. Kirby announced the new “drawdown” of goods from Pentagon inventory on Thursday afternoon.
The latest announcement brings total US military aid to Ukraine to $6.8 billion since the start of the Biden administration — the vast majority of which has been committed since the invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine by Russia on February 24, according to a Pentagon statement. emailed to reporters shortly after the White House briefing.
The truck-mounted launchers, called M142 HIMARS – for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System – carry six guided rockets in a disposable “pod” that can be quickly discarded after launching the munitions, allowing the vehicle’s three-person crew to winch quickly a new fully loaded basket in place.
Rockets typically carry a 200-pound high-explosive warhead to targets as far away as 43 miles and can strike about 30 feet from their programmed aiming point.
The combination of HIMARS launchers and the guided rockets they fire is a qualitative leap forward for Ukrainian artillery capabilities, which previously only used Soviet-designed, unguided and much slower artillery rocket systems. to recharge. Hours earlier Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced on Twitter that the first batch of HIMARS trucks, of a Pentagon shipment announced in late May, had arrived in his country.
The Pentagon’s inventory of the latest aid includes 36,000 rounds of 105mm artillery ammunition, suggesting that Ukraine has acquired another standard NATO artillery system that would use it. It was not immediately clear which country provided Ukraine with the howitzers to fire them.