The Pentagon committed an additional $2.1 billion in a long-term arms package for Ukraine that will provide air defense systems, artillery munitions, hand-launched drones and laser-guided rockets.
The money will bankroll the purchase of Hawk launchers and missiles, two types of advanced Patriot air-defense missiles and Puma reconnaissance drones as well as an unspecified number of 105mm and 203mm artillery rounds, according to a Pentagon statement and Biden administration officials.
But much of the equipment announced won’t be delivered for months — or possibly years — because it will have to be put under contract and produced, unlike the Presidential Drawdown Authority that is providing weapons from US inventories for more immediate battlefield impact, informs Bloomberg.
Before the Defense Department had committed $14.6 billion of the $19 billion appropriated by Congress for the security initiative, and $5.6 billion of that was under contract.
After the $19 billion runs out, President Joe Biden said, he’s confident he can work with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to continue providing US assistance to Ukraine. The Republican leader indicated this week that he may not back a new supplemental funding package for the war on top of the Pentagon’s regular budget.