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UPDATE: US announces $2.2 bn in Ukraine aid with longer-range rockets

03.02.2023 21:00
The United States on Friday announced a new weapons package for Ukraine, worth almost USD 2.2 billion and including longer-range rockets, to help the country defend itself against Russia's invasion.
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The new rockets will double Ukraine's strike range in its war with Russia, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told a media briefing, as cited by the Reuters news agency.

As part of the package, Washington will provide Kyiv with Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB), which have a range of 150 kilometers, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

According to a statement by the US Department of Defense, the new security assistance package includes "critical air defense capabilities to help Ukraine defend its people, as well as armored infantry vehicles and more equipment that Ukraine is using so effectively, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery ammunition, and conventional and long-range rockets for U.S.-provided HIMARS."

Washington will also provide Kyiv with "181 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles" and "190 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights and associated ammunition to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems."

Other equipment includes "two HAWK air defense firing units: anti-aircraft guns and ammunition; equipment to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s air defense systems," in addition to various types of ammunition, the Pentagon said.

Ukraine's Zelensky says new US aid package will help end Russia's war

Ukrainian leader Volodomyr Zelensky thanked US President Joe Biden for the new defence aid package.

"It's important to strengthen the Ukrainian defense forces," Zelensky said in a tweet.

He added: "Together with the United States we stand against terror. The more long-range our weapons are and the more mobile our troops are the sooner Russia's brutal aggression will end."

The United States has now committed around USD 30 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, according to officials.

"The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements," the Pentagon said in its statement.

Friday is day 345 of Russia’s war against Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters