US send Ukraine NASAMS part of $2.98 billion arms package
US President Joe Biden announced a new military aid package to Ukraine which will include the previously promised NASAMS.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden said the newly instated $2.98 billion military assistance will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, drones, and other equipment “to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.”
The announcement comes as Ukraine is celebrating its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, marking Ukraine’s independence day holiday and the six-month point in the war.
“I know this independence day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians as thousands have been killed or wounded, millions have been displaced from their homes, and so many others have fallen victim to Russian atrocities and attacks,” Biden stated.
This package brings the US military assistance to Kiev since the start of the war in Ukraine to almost $13.5 billion in total.
DOD officially announced what's in the $3B Ukraine security assistance package pic.twitter.com/58ZaxZ4j5q— Alex Ward (@alexbward) August 24, 2022
The military aid package, according to a Bloomberg report which cited 2 US officials, includes six NASAMS air defense systems as well as "Vampire" drone systems.
The National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) is a short-to-medium-range ground-based air defense system that can be used against helicopters, cruise missiles, and aircraft.
Furthermore, the package also includes funding for training, preservation, and sustainment of the provided equipment, as well as 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, 65,000 rounds of 120mm mortar projectiles, Puma unmanned aerial systems, support equipment for Scan Eagle systems, and laser-guided rocket systems.
The weapons package is being provided under the so-called Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which entails that the US Department of Defense will provide Ukraine with "critical capabilities to defend against Russia". Officials said it will include money for the small, hand-launched Puma drones, the longer-endurance Scan Eagle surveillance drones, which are launched by catapult, and, for the first time, the British Vampire drone system, which can be launched off ships. Several officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the aid before its public release. Just last month, Biden approved a $400 million package in the series of Ukrainian military aid.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg noted the more extended focus Tuesday as he reaffirmed the alliance’s support for the conflict-torn country, commenting: “Winter is coming, and it will be hard, and what we see now is a grinding war of attrition. This is a battle of wills and a battle of logistics. Therefore we must sustain our support for Ukraine for the long term so that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign, independent nation,” Stoltenberg said, speaking at a virtual conference about Crimea, organized by Ukraine.
This comes after Stoltenberg said it was crucial to continue providing assistance to Ukraine, however, he admitted that it would be tough and that Europe would pay a price for its support to Kiev.
On Monday, the US Embassy in Ukraine and the State Department issued a new security alert for Ukraine that repeated a call for Americans in the country to leave due to the danger.