US announces more missiles, ammunition for Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen fire a shell from a M777 howitzer, in Ukraine's Donetsk Region. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon announced on Friday (July 1) US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) in additional weapons and ammunition for Ukraine as it battles Russian forces along the eastern and southern fronts.

The 14th package of armaments for Ukraine forces includes two air defence systems, more ammunition for the Himars precision rocket launchers the US began supplying in June, up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and four additional counter-artillery radars.

The air defence systems, known as NASAMS, are a short and medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed by Raytheon and Norway's Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

The remote-operated launchers are to help Ukraine forces defend against piloted and drone aircraft and cruise missiles.

"The United States continues to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its evolving battlefield requirements," said Defence Department Press Secretary Todd Breasseale in a statement.

The Pentagon "recognises Norway's cooperation to enable the historic provision by the United States of modern air defence systems that will help Ukraine defend against Russia's brutal air attacks," he added.

The new package of arms, which draw on the US military's own stockpiles, took to US$6.9 billion the total amount provided by Washington to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on Feb 24.

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