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Reuters: Planned $325 million US military aid package for Ukraine not to include ATACMS

by Martin Fornusek September 20, 2023 10:09 PM 2 min read
A U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) fires a missile in a joint drill between the U.S. and South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden will soon announce a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $325 million, including more cluster munitions but not the much-desired ATACMS long-range missiles, Reuters reported on Sept. 20, citing a U.S. official.

The U.S. president will present the latest tranche on Sept. 21 when his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky visits Washington, D.C. as part of his U.S. trip, the news agency said.

Aside from cluster munitions for use by 155 mm howitzers, Washington also plans to send Avenger short-range air defense systems using Stinger missiles, TOW and AT4 anti-tank weapons, GMLRS rockets for HIMARS systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and other equipment, the unnamed source told Reuters.

However, the content of the package is still being finalized and could change, according to the report.

The U.S. provided Kyiv with the first batch of cluster munitions in July. Ukrainian troops are using 155 artillery systems for firing it, which provides them with a range of up to 30 kilometers.

Earlier in September, Reuters reported that the Biden administration is considering providing Ukraine with cluster munitions loaded in either ATACMS with a range of around 300 kilometers or GMLRS missiles with over 70 kilometers.

The White House has so far resisted pressure from Ukraine and U.S. lawmakers to provide the coveted ATACMS. On Sept. 17, a group of American senators urged Biden to greenlight the transfer, saying any delay "will only further undermine U.S. national security interests and extend this conflict."

Ukraine has already managed to secure Storm Shadow and SCALP longe-range missiles from the U.K. and France and hopes to acquire ATACMS and Germany's Taurus missiles as well.

Kuleba: Taurus, ATACMS to be used only within Ukraine’s borders
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Ukraine’s partners to provide Kyiv with long-range missiles such as Taurus and ATACMS, adding that they will be deployed only on Ukraine’s territory.

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