Skip to Content

US announces $6 billion long-term military aid package for Ukraine

<i>Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin speaks during a press conference after concluding the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the Pentagon in Washington
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin speaks during a press conference after concluding the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the Pentagon in Washington

By Haley Britzky, CNN

(CNN) — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Friday a $6 billion long-term military aid package for Ukraine — the largest to date — which will allow the US to purchase new equipment produced by the American defense industry for the Ukrainian military.

“This is the largest security assistance package that we’ve committed to date. It will include critical interceptors for Ukraine’s patriot and NASAMS air defense systems, more counter drone systems and support equipment, significant amounts of artillery ammunition, and air to ground munitions and maintenance and sustainment support,” Austin said during a press conference on Friday.

The announcement comes just days after the US announced a $1 billion package that would quickly provide equipment to Ukraine from US stocks, following President Joe Biden’s signing of a much delayed $95 billion supplemental aid package on Wednesday.

Biden said moments after signing the legislation that shipments of aid to Ukraine would begin within hours. Equipment under the $6 billion package announced Friday, however, will take much longer to arrive.

Unlike drawdown packages which pull military equipment directly from US stocks, Friday’s aid announcement falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which contracts with industry to procure the equipment. The USAI is intended to provide Ukraine with a long-term supply of weapons and equipment.

Austin said Friday that the timeline for delivery would depend on what systems are purchased, but that the Pentagon is “going to move as fast as we can to get them the capability as fast as industry can produce.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, speaking alongside Austin on Friday, said that the USAI package would provide Ukraine with “more flexibility.”

“They’ve had to actually ration conserve munitions over time,” Brown said. “And so with this package, and the follow-on factors because of the supplemental, gives them a bit more flexibility to be able to operate and use that capability effectively against the Russian threat.”

Austin and Brown’s press conference followed the virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting on Friday morning, held two years to the day since the very first meeting in Germany.

Ahead of the meeting’s start, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the group of allies, thanking them for their support but also urging them to send more assistance, particularly with air defense.

Austin commended the Ukrainians during Friday’s press conference for being “able to hold their own” without significant support from the US over the last few months, and said the capabilities that will start flowing in will help them “do a lot better.”

“As I talked to Ukrainian leadership, they are confident that they can continue to hold their own and then and then, as they get a bit stronger, they’ll have options available,” he said.

This story has been updated with additional details.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content