The US assistance program is designed for Ukraine’s long-term defense needs. It will include rocket systems from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
As early as this Friday, the Pentagon will announce a long-term arms package for Ukraine, including air defense munitions, worth more than $2 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the funds that will be allocated under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) will be used to purchase missile launchers and Hawk missiles, as well as two types of advanced Patriot air defense missiles.
One of them is the Patriot Advanced Capability Missile-3 (Pac-3) manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The other is called the Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM-T) from Raytheon Technologies. The GEM-T is said to “provide improved capability to engage tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles or enemy aircraft in addition to the PAC-3 missile.”
USAI’s initiative will build on previous efforts to help Ukraine’s air defense system fight a Russian invasion. As Bloomberg notes, the program provides for contracts with delivery dates in months or even years to meet the country’s long-term security needs, and not for immediate use on the battlefield.
The publication recalls that the United States announced last November that they would supply Hawk systems from their own stocks, but they had to be repaired at the expense of USAI.
Air defense has been a top priority for Ukraine to counter recent air and ground-based cruise and ballistic missile attacks on cities, and to provide cover from Russian aircraft in a long-awaited counteroffensive.