On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced another $1.2 billion military aid package to Ukraine, ABC News reported.
The latest aid package will include additional air defense systems along with equipment to “integrate” Western missiles, radars, and air defense launchers with Ukraine’s current air-defense systems.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the Defense Department will continue rushing munitions and air-defense systems to Ukraine to help it “control its sovereign skies” and defend its people from Iranian-made drones and Russian cruise missile attacks.
Ryder also confirmed reports that Ukraine used a US-made Patriot missile system to shoot down a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
Funding for the latest military aid package will be drawn from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), in which the United States purchases weapons and equipment from defense contractors or its allies on behalf of Ukraine.
Since the USAI process involves defense contracts, it could take months or even years before some of the aid reaches Ukraine. For example, if the items requested are not readily available on the shelves, the US would need to request that the contractor build the items, which would delay shipment to Ukraine.
For more immediate aid packages, the United States uses the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the Pentagon to draw equipment from existing US stockpiles.
Ryder asserted that the US is continuing to work with allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the military aid necessary to “meet its immediate battlefield needs” while also addressing long-term “security assistance requirements.”
The latest USAI funds will also provide Ukraine with commercial satellite imagery services, artillery rounds, and additional ammo for anti-drone weapons.
With the latest package, the total USAI funds committed to Ukraine in FY2023 is now about $5 billion, bringing the total security assistance to $37 billion since the war began.