US announces USD675 million in new military aid to Ukraine

The United States will deliver new military aid to Ukraine for the amount of 675 million dollars, announced on Thursday, September 8, by Secretary of State for Defense, Lloyd Austin.
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Ukraine will receive M119A1/A2 105mm howitzers from the U.S. (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps)

The announcement was made Thursday morning, September 8, by Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Base base in Germany, where Ukraine's allies are meeting to coordinate their support. This new American aid includes in particular guided multiple launch rocket systems (GMLRS), 105 mm howitzers, artillery ammunition, as well as Humvees, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems, small arms, and more, Lloyd Austin said. Other countries, including Germany, should also announce new aid during the day.

These shipments are bearing fruit on the ground, assured Lloyd Austin: "Today, we see the clear success of our joint efforts on the battlefield. Every day, we see the determination of allies and partners around the world who are helping Ukraine resist Russia's illegal, imperial and indefensible war of conquest".

This fifth meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, at the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, is intended to testify to the "unity and solidarity" of the allies of Ukraine, according to the American chief of staff, General Mark Milley. Representatives of more than 40 countries and international organizations meet in Ramstein to discuss, in particular, the challenges that the conflict poses in terms of arms production. "Ammunition consumption is very important in this war in Ukraine", General Milley explained to the journalists accompanying him. The objective is "to try to determine the needs, the demands and then to compare this with the supply, whether it is the stocks of the countries or what can be produced by the defense industry", he said. Artillery is decisive in the conflict. Particularly hungry for projectiles of all kinds, the Ukrainian and Russian armies are waging a war of ammunition attrition, the stocks of which are crucial.

Ukraine has been carrying out a counter-offensive in the south of its territory since last week, and President Zelensky has repeatedly affirmed that he wants to take back "all the regions under Russian occupation", including Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. He reported Thursday evening "good news from the Kharkiv region", referring to "localities where the Ukrainian flag has returned".

Ukraine has exhausted all of its Russian-made weaponry and its defense is now totally dependent on Western military aid. For its part, Russia has turned to North Korea to buy large quantities of rockets and artillery shells, according to Washington.

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov attend the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 8, 2022 (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

The United States committed unprecedented security assistance to Ukraine including Stinger anti-aircraft systems, armored personnel carriers, grenade launchers, Mi-17 helicopters, body armor, and millions of rounds of small-arms ammunition.

More precisely, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, capabilities in this package include:

* Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
* Four 105mm Howitzers and 36,000 105mm artillery rounds;
* Additional High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARM);
* 100 Armored High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV);
* 1.5 million rounds of small arms ammunition;
* More than 5,000 anti-armor systems;
* 1,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems;
* Additional grenade launchers and small arms;
* 50 armored medical treatment vehicles;
* Night vision devices and other field equipment.

In addition, State Department notified Congress of our intent to make $2 billion available in long-term investments in Foreign Military Financing: $1 billion to bolster the security of Ukraine and $1 billion for 18 of Ukraine's regional neighbors.

Lloyd Austin used the transfer of howitzers as an example of the assistance that has poured into Ukraine. "In April, the United States delivered our first batch of M-777 howitzers — introducing NATO-standard artillery pieces to Ukraine for the first time," he said. "Today, the United States has delivered 126 of those howitzers. And along with countries around the world, we've increased the number of howitzer systems for Ukraine's defenders by more than 18-fold." This helped freeze the Russian offensive in the Donbas region.

Since then, more capabilities including 26 long-range rocket artillery systems and the associated guided multiple launch rockets have arrived. "All these capabilities have demonstrably helped Ukraine fight back against Russia's aggression," he said. "And they have enabled Ukraine to resist Russia's ongoing onslaught. So we have come a long way by working together."

But more needs to happen. Russia continues to bombard Ukrainian cities and civilians with missiles and artillery fire. But the nature of the war is changing again and Ukrainian forces have begun a counteroffensive in the southern part of the country, the secretary said. "They are integrating the capabilities that we all have provided to help themselves to fight and reclaim their sovereign territory," Austin said. "Today, this contact group needs to position itself to sustain Ukraine's brave defenders for the long haul."

The world needs to supply Ukraine with the capabilities it needs to fight today, but it also needs the means and training to defend the country for the future and deter Russia. "It means moving urgently to innovate, and to push all of our defense industrial bases to provide Ukraine with the tools that it will need for the hard road ahead," Austin said. "We're here because we refuse to live in a world where big powers trample borders by force. Our support for Ukraine's bedrock right to defend itself doesn't waver based on any given clash."

The war in Ukraine is changing, the secretary said, "and so is the mission of this Contact Group."

The secretary said the group needs to consider long-term aid to Ukraine. "We'll work together to train Ukraine's forces for the long haul," he said. "We'll work together to help integrate Ukraine's capabilities and bolster its joint operations for the long haul. We'll work together to upgrade our defense industrial bases to meet Ukraine's requirements for the long haul. And we'll work together for production and innovation to meet Ukraine's self-defense needs for the long haul."

Ukraine is making progress against a much larger foe. "And every day, we see the resolve of the allies and partners worldwide who are helping Ukraine resist Russia's illegal, imperial and indefensible war of conquest," he said. "And we must evolve as the fight evolves."

There have been significant contributions from many other nations. Britain has provided 2.3 billion pounds of equipment to Ukraine. Germany and Denmark have both announced significant packages of military assistance. Poland — a frontline state facing Russia — has transferred three battalions of 155 mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.

Other contact group nations work not only on contributions but on helping train Ukrainian service members.


Total U.S. military assistance to Ukraine as of September 8, 2022

In total, the United States has committed approximately $15.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021, including more than $14.5 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion on February 24. United States security assistance committed to Ukraine includes:
• Over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
• Over 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems;
• Over 32,000 other anti-armor systems;
• Over 700 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• 126 155mm Howitzers and up to 807,000 155mm artillery rounds;
• 20 105mm Howitzers and 144,000 105mm artillery rounds;
• 126 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers;
• 22 Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment;
• 16 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition;
• 20 120mm mortar systems and 85,000 rounds of 120mm mortar rounds;
• 1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
• Four Command Post vehicles;
• Eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and munitions;
• High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs);
• 20 Mi-17 helicopters;
• Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles;
• 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
• 40 MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles with mine rollers;
• Mine clearing equipment and systems;
• Over 10,000 grenade launchers and small arms;
• Over 60,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition;
• Over 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets;
• Approximately 700 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Laser-guided rocket systems;
• Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• 15 Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels;
• Up to 50 counter-artillery radars;
• Four counter-mortar radars;
• Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
• Four air surveillance radars;
• Two harpoon coastal defense systems;
• 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats;
• M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
• C-4 explosives, demolition munitions, and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing;
• Tactical secure communications systems;
• Thousands of night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, optics, and laser
• Commercial satellite imagery services;
• Explosive ordnance disposal protective gear;
• Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment;
• 100 armored medical treatment vehicles;
• Medical supplies to include first aid kits, bandages, monitors, and other equipment;
• Electronic jamming equipment;
• Field equipment and spare parts;
• Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.
The United States also continues to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with
additional capabilities to defend itself.