Munitions, anti-tank rockets in next US$2.6 billion US pledge for Ukraine: Sources

WASHINGTON: A new US$2.6 billion US military aid package that could include air surveillance radars, anti-tank rockets and fuel trucks for Ukraine’s fight against Russia is expected to be announced as soon as Monday, three US officials said on Friday (Mar 31).

A half a dozen types of munitions, including tank munitions, are also expected to be on the list of equipment that could be finalized over this weekend, the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said, adding that the dollar amount and specific equipment in the package could change.

Also slated for inclusion were precision aerial munitions, bridging equipment Ukraine would use to assault Russian positions, recovery vehicles to help disabled heavy equipment like tanks and additional rounds for NASAMS air defenses that the US and allies have given to Kyiv.

The aid was comprised of US$2.1 billion in weapons aid coming from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funding that allows President Joe Biden’s administration to buy weapons from industry rather than from US weapons stocks.

The remaining US$500 million, mainly comprised of munitions to help Kyiv push a spring offensive against Russia’s invasion, was expected to come from Presidential Drawdown Authority funds, which allow the president to take from current US stocks in an emergency.

The US has now pledged more then US$30 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine since the invasion.

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