WASHINGTON: The Biden administration on Wednesday unveiled $800 million in military equipment to Ukraine as Russia prepares to launch an offensive in the eastern part of the country.
The U.S. has rushed over $3.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including $2.6 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Following a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, Ukraine’s foreign minister tweeted: “I came here today to discuss three most important things: weapons, weapons, and weapons.”
The most recent round of U.S. security assistance includes a mixture of arms and other supplies that Washington has already provided Kyiv, as well as new capabilities that had not previously been sent over.
Here is everything the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.
155 mm howitzers
As part of the Wednesday’s weapons package, the U.S. will for the first time send Ukraine 18 155mm howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds.
The howitzer, which weighs 10,000 pounds, is a towed field artillery piece that can hit targets up to 30 kilometers, or 18 miles, away.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Ukraine specifically asked for fire support and artillery support, and said the Howitzers are “reflective of the kind of fighting the Ukrainians are expecting to be faced with” in more confined geographic areas.
The $800 million package also includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters. Prior to Wednesday, the U.S. sent Ukraine five Mi-17 helicopters, bringing the total committed up to 16.
The Mi-17 is a Soviet-era transport helicopter that can also function as a helicopter gunship. It can carry as many as 30 passengers or 9,000 pounds of cargo.
The helicopters had originally been earmarked for Afghanistan, Kirby said. It was originally unclear whether Ukraine wanted the planes, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week, but they were ultimately included after Ukraine said they wanted them.
The U.S. has sent hundreds of Switchblade drones to Ukraine in separate installments since the middle of March.
A package announced on March 16 included “100 tactical unmanned aerial systems,” which were later revealed to be Switchblade drones.
The Pentagon provided more of the drones on April 3 as part of a $300 million security assistance package, and this week’s package includes an additional 300 switchblade drones.
There are two types of Switchblade drones manufactured by AeroVironment. The Switchblade 300, which is intended to target personnel and light vehicles, weighs less than five pounds and can fly roughly six miles and can hover over targets for about 15 minutes.
The Switchblade 600, a more advanced version of the drone meant to target tanks, weighs about 50 pounds, can fly over 24 miles, and can stay in the air for roughly 40 minutes.
The U.S. has provided both to Ukraine, though it’s unclear how many of each.
The $800 million weapons package announced Wednesday includes two different types of radars — ten AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars and two AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars.
The AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radar is a light-weight mobile radar set that can automatically detect and track incoming mortar, artillery and rocket-fire. When it detects a projectile, it can compute its location and be used to direct counter-fires
The AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars is a 3-D radar that can alert and cue short range air defense weapons to the locations of hostile targets approaching front-line forces. They can track and identify cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.
Stingers and Javelins
The U.S. has sent thousands of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
The weapons, which can be deployed by ground troops to hit targets within short ranges, have been crucial in Ukraine’s ability to defend itself, U.S. defense officials have said.
“The Javelin, the Stingers have proven to be very, very effective in this fight,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services committee on April 5.
Here are other types of military equipment sent to Ukraine:
Coastal defense drones
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment