By - Tim Rosado
The Latest Developments
Latest US Assistance Package. The US Defense Department announced (June 13) its latest military support package. The package is valued at $325 million, and comes just four days after the release of a $2.1 billion package. Among other things, this latest package includes:
Munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).
Stinger anti-aircraft systems.
Munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
15 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
10 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers.
Javelin anti-armor systems.
Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles.
Over 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades.
The United States has committed over $40 billion in military assistance for Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022.
Fighter Jets. Australia is considering sending Ukraine up to 41 retired Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornets. US President Biden informed leaders at the G-7 Summit in Japan (May 19) that the US will permit countries to donate their F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, and that Ukrainian pilots can participate in US-delivered training on F-16s in a joint effort with donating countries. The US has not, however, committed to provide any F-16s directly to Ukraine, though this matter is reportedly still under consideration. Countries who previously wanted to donate the aircraft can now do so, and in turn potentially replenish donated aircraft with new purchases. It is not yet publicly known which countries plan to provide F-16s, but the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, and the United Kingdom are reportedly considering plans to donate some aircraft. Both Slovakia (13 planes) and Poland (10-20 planes) have provided Ukraine with older MIG fighter aircraft.
US Military Support Error. The US discovered an accounting error in its estimates of previous military support for Ukraine. A correction of that error will result in the US having an additional $3 billion in support that it could provide to Ukraine under existing authorities provided by Congress. In December (2022), Congress provided $47 billion in military and non-military authority that is financing Ukraine-related needs. There was concern that the US would deplete the military portion of the authority by early this summer. Now, with the correction of the prior error, there is potential that military funding authority will be sufficient through most of the summer.
Long Range Missiles. Reporting (May 11) indicates that the British government has begun sending long range, Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine. Such missiles can reach a distance of about 155 miles (250 kilometers) and can be attached to older fighter jets. US-supplied HIMARS missiles are limited to about 50 miles, and the US is providing in the future other missiles (GLSDB) that have nearly a 100 mile range. The US has so far not agreed to send longer range weapons to Ukraine.
Germany began the donation process of modern tanks by committing to supply Ukraine with one company (14 tanks) of German-made Leopard 2 tanks, which are in ready supply throughout Europe (upwards of 2K). Germany also indicated (February 3) that it plans to refurbish and sell Ukraine upwards of 88 older Leopard 1 tanks, and reportedly may also try and buy back 15 older Gepard tanks from Qatar to send to Ukraine. Other tank pledges include the United States (31 Abrams I tanks); Britain (28 Challenger II tanks); Poland (60 refurbished older tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks); Spain (6 Leopard 2 tanks); Finland (3 Leopard 2 tanks); Portugal (3 Leopard 2 tanks); Canada (4 Leopard 2 tanks); and Norway (8 Leopard 2 tanks). The Czech Republic says it has supplied Ukraine with 89 older tanks over the last year. Morocco has started to supply Ukraine with 20 Czech-refurbished T-72B tanks.
Numerous countries committed to provide versions of armored/fighting vehicles. Among the commitments:
Germany is providing Ukraine with 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles by the end of March.
France is providing an unspecified number of AMX-10 RC light armored vehicles.
Sweden is providing about 50 Type 90 Combat Vehicles.
Canada is providing 200 Senator APC armored vehicles.
In tandem with a US visit of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to meet with President Biden and address a joint session of Congress, the US announced (December 21) that it is providing one Patriot missile system battery to Ukraine. Germany (January 5) and the Netherlands (January 17) subsequently announced that they each will provide Ukraine with a single Patriot missile system battery, which brings the total commitment of Patriot systems to three.
Patriot systems are considered a 'gold standard' in the detection of projectiles and stealthier aircraft. Its arrayed radar system provides the ability to detect small and fast targets like ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and stealthier aircraft. The systems are also highly resistant to countermeasures, such as jamming. They do apparently require a good amount of training, which means it could take time before they are fully operational within Ukraine.
Apart from a future Patriot system, the US delivered and installed the first two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) in Ukraine during November, which should now be fully operational on the Ukraine battlefield. A total of eight NASAMS have been promised by the US. The Army signed a contract with Raytheon in December to produce and deliver the remaining systems by 2025. The US has also provided HAWK defense systems. In addition, Canada committed in January to purchase a US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to provide to Ukraine.
In addition to US actions, Spain reportedly provided Ukraine with one or more ASPIDE anti-aircraft missile systems, Germany is providing four IRIS-T air-defense systems, and reporting indicates that Italy is providing SAMP/T air defense systems. The United Kingdom has committed to provide at least 1,000 surface-to-air missiles (Brimstone), as well as 125 anti-aircraft guns, dozens of radars, and anti-drone electronic warfare systems.
In addition,14 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and Finland signed a letter of intent to jointly procure air-defense systems as part of a project to improve and coordinate Europe's security in the skies primarily through a linked missile defense system called the "European Sky Shield Initiative." German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said (December 8) that he hopes that such a system is in place within five years.
European Union (EU) Military Funding Commitment
EU foreign ministers agreed to add (December 12) an additional €2 billion to the EU's Ukraine military aid fund–the European Peace Facility. The original Peace Facility budget of €5.7 billion has been drawn down to an estimated €800 million.
The added support total via the Peace Facility could rise from €2 billion to €5.5 billion if EU nations agree there is a need. The EU nations have provided an estimated €8 billion worth of military support since the Russian invasion.
US Ukraine Funding Supplemental
Authority for the latest assistance package to Ukraine derives from authority provided in the FY 2023 funding Omnibus, enacted into law in late December, which included $47 billion for Ukraine-related purposes. Funding supplementals authorize the resources that are periodically announced and allocated to Ukraine.
The key security-related elements of the Omnibus:
$9 billion in new funding for for the Ukraine Security Initiative.
$13.4 billion in economic and budgetary support for the Government of Ukraine.
Nearly $13 billion to replenish U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) military stocks and to improve ammunition replenishment capacity.
More than $6 billion for DOD operational costs in the European theater.
More than $400 million for nuclear activities, including for both energy independence and to prepare for any potential nuclear incidents.
A full funding breakdown of all items is as follows:
Key US military assistance items provided to Ukraine since February (2022) include:
Patriot defense systems
Stinger missile anti-aircraft systems
Javelin missile anti-armor systems
Hydra-70 aircraft rockets