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Bradley infantry fighting vehicles confirmed in "largest yet" US military aid package for Ukraine
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced “the largest yet” new military assistance package for Ukraine, worth over $3 billion and including long-awaited Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, on Jan. 6.
At a separate Pentagon press briefing an hour later, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper gave further details on the content of the package.
Ukraine will be provided with 50 Bradleys equipped with 500 TOW anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition. These vehicles will "further enhance Ukraine's ability to complex maneuvers in almost all weather conditions and terrain, especially in the south and the east of the country," Cooper said.
The package also includes 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, which Ukraine already operates, 55 mine-resistant vehicles, 138 HMMWV vehicles, 18 M109 155mm self-propelled howitzers, and 36 105mm towed howitzers.
The U.S.' new artillery commitment is backed by more ammunition, with 90,000 105mm and 70,000 155mm rounds, as well as 500 precision-guided 155mm rounds.
Further deliveries include surface-to-air missiles, anti-vehicle land mines, further HIMARS rockets, support vehicles, mortar and small arms ammunition, and more.
The aid will also include $225 million “in foreign military financing for Ukraine to build the long-term capacity and modernization of Ukraine’s military.”
On Twitter, President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked U.S. President Joe Biden for the “completely new weaponry.”
“I welcome the largest U.S defense aid package yet,” Zelensky wrote.
“It will strengthen the Ukrainian army on a battlefield. Awesome Christmas present for Ukraine! Together with the U.S. people, we're approaching a common victory!” he wrote.
“Now our soldiers will have even more weapons, equipment, shells, and defense systems, which will make us much more prepared for any escalating plans of Russia and those strikes that the terrorist state inflicts, regardless of whether it is a holiday or a weekday,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Jan. 6.
The announcement comes three weeks after Zelensky delivered a historic address before U.S. Congress on Dec. 21, during his first trip overseas since the full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24.
“Your money is not charity. It is an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way,” Zelensky said back then.
The U.S. and Germany announced more military aid to Ukraine following U.S. President Joe Biden's phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In coordination with the delivery of the 50 Bradleys, Berlin greenlighted the shipment of its Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
On Jan. 6, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said that the American-made Patriot air defense battery will be delivered to Ukraine from Germany's inventory in the first quarter of 2023.
Earlier in the day, the White House also announced new sanctions on Iran's aviation and defense sector for supplying the drones Russia uses to bomb Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.
The sanctions will affect six executives and board members of Iran's top defense contractor, Qods Aviation Industries, as well as the director of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization overseeing its ballistic missile program, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.