Written by Jon Harper
The largest tranche of security assistance to Ukraine that the United States has announced to date will include counter-drone systems and a host of other weapons.
The new $3 billion package, announced by President Biden on Wednesday to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day, will help Kyiv acquire anti-manned aerial systems (C-UAS), other defense systems aerial, artillery and ammunition systems, and radar “to make sure he can keep going to defend himself for the long haul,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday morning.
His statement did not provide a detailed breakdown of the quantities or specific weapon systems included in the package, but more details are expected to come from Biden administration officials.
“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty,” Biden said.
Notably, the new batch of arms and equipment will be procured from contractors through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative fund rather than from a drawdown on the stockpiles of the Pentagon, which had been the practice for most previous tranches of US military aid to Ukraine since the invasion of Russia in February. .
Ukraine and Russia have used a variety of drones against each other’s forces for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and to conduct strikes. Pentagon officials say the trend highlights the need for the United States to acquire more counter-UAS capabilities.
“What we see in Ukraine, I think, sheds more light on what we already know – than when you scale that [drone] capacity from a small quadcopter up to a larger group 3 [system] and are able to leverage ISR to leverage other effects of other systems, really shows the importance of having large-scale counter-UAS, not just at a fixed site, but up to the operational level,” Major General said. Sean Gainey, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) and director of Army fires, G3/5/7, said during an AUSA webinar broadcast Tuesday.