March 27, 2023
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US readies $2B-plus Ukraine aid package

WASHINGTON — America is readying greater than $2 billion price of navy aid for Ukraine that’s anticipated to incorporate longer-range rockets for the primary time in addition to different munitions and weapons, two US officers briefed on the matter advised Reuters on Tuesday.

The aid is anticipated to be introduced as quickly as this week, the officers mentioned. It’s also anticipated to incorporate assist tools for Patriot air protection techniques, precision-guided munitions and Javelin anti-tank weapons, they added.

One of many officers mentioned a portion of the package, anticipated to be $1.725 billion, would come from a fund often known as the Ukraine Safety Help Initiative (USAI), which permits President Joseph R. Biden’s administration to get weapons from business somewhat than from US weapons shares.

The USAI funds would go towards the acquisition of a brand new weapon, the Floor Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) made by Boeing Co., which have a variety of 94 miles (150 km). America has rebuffed Ukraine’s requests for the 185-mile (297-km) vary ATACMS missile.

The longer vary of the GLSDB glide bomb may enable Ukraine to hit targets which were out of attain and assist it proceed urgent its counterattacks by disrupting Russia additional behind its strains.

Reuters first reported on Boeing’s proposal to area GLSDB for Ukraine in November. On the time it was anticipated GLSDB could possibly be in Ukraine by spring.

GLSDB is made collectively by SAAB AB and Boeing. It combines the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the M26 rocket motor, each of that are frequent in US inventories.

GLSDB is GPS-guided, can defeat some digital jamming, is usable in all climate situations, and can be utilized in opposition to armored autos, in line with SAAB’s web site. The GBU-39 — which might perform because the GLSDB’s warhead — has small, folding wings that enable it to glide greater than 100km if dropped from an plane and hit targets as small as 3 ft (1 meter) in diameter.

The USAI funds would even be used to pay for extra parts of HAWK air defenses, counter drone techniques, counter artillery and air surveillance radars, communications tools, PUMA drones, and spare elements for main techniques like Patriot and Bradley, one of many officers mentioned.

There was additionally a major quantity of medical tools — sufficient to equip three area hospitals being donated by one other ally, the official added.

The White Home declined to remark. The contents and measurement of aid packages can shift till they’re signed by the president.

Along with the USAI funds, greater than $400 million price of aid was anticipated to return from Presidential Drawdown Authority funds, which permits the president to take from present US shares in an emergency.

That aid was anticipated to incorporate mine-resistant ambush-protected autos (MRAPs), guided a number of launch rocket techniques (GMLRS) and ammunition.

The US has despatched roughly $27.2 billion price of safety help to Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Russia calls the invasion a “special operation”. — Reuters

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