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Politico: US to announce new $6 billion weapons contract for Ukraine

by Abbey Fenbert April 26, 2024 1:22 AM 2 min read
An aerial view of the Pentagon, May 15, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force Staff)
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The United States is preparing to announce a new weapons contract worth around $6 billion in military aid to Ukraine, Politico reported on April 25, citing anonymous officials involved in the plans.

U.S. President Joe Biden on April 23 signed into law a long-delayed foreign aid bill that  allocates close to $61 billion in assistance to Ukraine. The weapons package will draw from those funds.

The contract will include Patriot air defense systems, artillery, drones, counter-drone weapons, and air-to-air missiles, and may be finalized as soon as April 26, the officials said.

These weapons aren't expected to reach Ukraine for several years, since the funding is allocated under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). Instead of sending Ukraine weapons from current U.S. stocks, the USAI requires the Pentagon to send contracts to U.S. defense companies to produce new supplies.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to announce the new aid package at the upcoming meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on April 26, which will be held online. The group will convene exactly two years after the first such summit was held at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

More immediate assistance will reach Kyiv in the form of a $1 billion package announced on April 24, almost immediately after Biden passed the foreign aid bill. The Pentagon said it was ready to move forward with sending $1 billion in weapons from U.S. stockpiles, including air defense missiles and fighting vehicles.

The New York Times reported on April 25 that the U.S. already shipped over 100 long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine in secret last week.

The delays in military aid have contributed to battlefield losses as Ukraine faces critical shortages in ammunition, air defense systems, and personnel.

When and how will US aid impact the front lines in Ukraine?
After almost seven months of delays, the U.S. Congress finally approved $61 billion in aid for Kyiv, mostly in the form of military assistance. The legislation was promptly signed by U.S. President Joe Biden, and shortly after, the Pentagon announced the first defense package of $1 billion, contain…

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