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US Department of Defense speeds up to replenish weapons sent to Ukraine.

| 2022

According to C. Todd Lopez from the U.S. Department of Defense, following Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the United States embarked on a long-term commitment to provide Ukraine with the tools and equipment it needs to defend its sovereignty. Since that time, more than $14.5 billion in assistance has been committed to Ukraine.
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197 Field Artillery Regiment of New Hampshire fires HIMARS at Fort Drum, 20-7-2021 (Picture source: US Army - Sgt. 1st Class Richard Frost, 603rd Public Affairs Detachment)

Some of the assistance provided has been new and purchased on contract from defense industry manufacturers as a part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. But much of the equipment, some $12.5 billion worth, has been provided as part of presidential drawdown authority. That means things such as Javelin and Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launcher systems, and Switchblade unmanned aerial systems, for instance, have been pulled directly from existing U.S. military inventory to be sent overseas.

Because so much gear has been pulled from U.S. military units, that equipment must now be replaced in order to sustain America's own readiness, and the Defense Department has already contracted with an array of manufacturers to give back to military units what was taken from them in order to support Ukraine.

"As we work with industry to accelerate production on both replenishment systems and direct procurements under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative or USAI, we're using a number of tools to get the funding moving, and the contracting happening quickly," Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

Already, about $1.2 billion in contracts are underway to replenish U.S. military stocks for weapons sent to Ukraine, LaPlante said. That includes about $352 million in funding for replacement Javelin missiles, $624 million for replacement Stinger missiles, and $33 million for replacement HIMARS systems.

Another $1.2 billion in contracts are underway now for equipment promised to Ukraine under USAI, including for things like 155mm ammunition, Switchblade unmanned aerial systems, radar systems and tactical vehicles.

The Department is expediting these efforts by using undefinitized contracting actions, or UCAs, to get the industry working on contracts before they are definitized, LaPlante said.

"You can put a UCA together within a week, and we're doing that," he said. "We're also making use of indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts, or IDIQ. If you have IDIQs, and we have many of them, what you can do is just add task orders to them very quickly to get equipment on contract."

In late April, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III participated in the first meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group where leaders from about 40 nations met to discuss both current and future efforts to provide support for Ukraine and to help Ukraine maintain its sovereignty going forward. Today, the contact group includes about 50 nations, and the group concluded its fifth meeting just yesterday in Germany.

Now, as a kind of offshoot of the contact group, LaPlante said he will meet Sept. 28 with the national armaments directors from other contact group nations to discuss how the global defense industrial base can continue to support Ukraine both now and into the future.

Ukraine Contracting Actions
September 9, 2022

The U.S. Department of Defense is delivering security assistance to Ukraine through two main authorities:

Ukraine Security Assistance (USAI):
• Under USAI, the Department procures defense articles directly from industry to support Ukraine.
• Congress has appropriated $6 billion in USAI funding in the fiscal year 2022 (FY22). The Department has committed $4.8 billion through notifications to Congress and $1.2 billion has been awarded on contract.
• Earlier USAI packages generally included items that could be procured for immediate delivery to Ukraine; more recent packages have included capabilities that have longer production times and will be delivered over multiple years, signaling the USG’s long-term commitment to supporting Ukraine.

Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA):
• PDA allows the Department to deliver equipment to Ukraine by drawing down from DoD stocks.
• Congress has appropriated $12.5 billion in FY22 to replace these stocks. The Department has to date identified $7 billion in replacement actions, of which $1.2
billion have been awarded on contract.
• Replacement contracts are expected to deliver over multiple years, as many capabilities delivered to Ukraine, such as advanced munitions, have two- to three-year production times.

The Department is working closely with the industry to produce these systems under both USAI and replacement contracts as quickly as possible, using Undefinitized Contract Actions (UCAs), Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, and other tools that accelerate acquisition timelines.
In addition to procurement funding, some replacement contracts also include investments in the industrial base to expand or accelerate production throughput.


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