Pentagon specified the composition of the latest package of military aid, announced by US President Joe Biden during a speech on the occasion of Ukraine’s Independence Day. This is what is included in the next package worth an impressive $2.9 billion.
First, six air defense systems NASAMS in addition to those two that were transferred in July. Most likely, we are again talking about NASAMS platoon kits, each of which includes 3 launchers for 18 missiles, an AN/TPQ-64 three-coordinate radar station and a fire control panel. The cost of one NASAMS platoon is $23 million in 2022 prices, the cost of each AIM-120 AMRAAM missile (2019 AIM-120D modification) is more than $1.2 million. Of course, the complexes come with additional missiles, as their spending, especially with such massive attacks as on Independence Day are quite high.
Second, 245,000 155-mm caliber shells and 65,000 120-mm mortar mines. Without shells, guns are just iron, and the daily costs of shells at the front are simply colossal.
Third, 24 counter-battery radars to more effectively destroy enemy artillery.
Fourth, an unspecified number of additional reconnaissance UAVs RQ-20 Puma and unmanned aerial systems Scan Eagle – artillery’s eyes.
Fifth, VAMPIRE anti-drone systems, about which almost nothing is known. Apparently, these are drones that destroy enemy drones with the help of kinetic weapons, but exactly how and who produces these weapons is currently unknown.
Sixth, again unknown laser-guided missile systems.
Unfortunately, there are no fighters or ATACMS ballistic missiles in the new package. Responding to questions about these weapons at a briefing, the US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl noted that they should not be counted on in the near future.
“Our current priority as it relates to aircraft is making sure that Ukrainians can use the aircraft they currently have to generate effects in the current conflict… Even if we were to provide NATO aircraft, they wouldn’t arrive for years” said Colin Kahl .
At the same time, the Pentagon will continue to help Ukraine with the expansion of the capabilities of Soviet aircraft of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces, as, for example, it happened with the integration of an anti-radar missile AGM-88 HARM.
With regard to ATACMS ballistic missiles, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy once again emphasized that, in accordance with consultations with the Ukrainian side, GMLRS missiles are now fully sufficient to fulfill all current tasks of the Armed Forces.
In addition, according to Colin Kal, during the next three years, Ukraine will switch mainly to NATO weapons, but this does not exclude the use of some Soviet weapons after 2025. Dr. Kahl also reminded that the defense-industrial complex of Ukraine is capable and independently creates highly effective weapons.
The US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy also mentioned the “zoo” of combat equipment of the Armed Forces, assembled from various equipment received from allied countries.
“Ideally, the Ukrainian military of the future will not be rooted in dozens of different systems, but a much smaller number of systems that are, you know, easier to sustain and maintain and all that,” Colin Kahl emphasized.