The US Defense Department announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine worth about $400 million under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
The package includes tanks and drones.
“The USAI package underscores the continued US commitment to supporting Ukraine by meeting their most urgent requirements … while also building the capacity of Ukraine’s armed forces to defend its sovereignty over the long term,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said at a news conference Friday.
The package supplies refurbished T-72 tanks, new Phoenix Ghost drones, funding to refurbish HAWK air defense systems to send to Ukraine, and other items.
The tanks will be coming from the Czech Republic, with the US paying for 45 of them to be refurbished, according to Singh, and the Netherlands paying to refurbish an additional 45 tanks.
Some of the tanks are expected to be delivered by the end of December, Singh said.
“These will be the most technically advanced tanks on the battlefield,” she added.
Singh also announced that “a portion” of the Phoenix Ghost drones previously pledged to Ukraine have already been delivered.
“We’ve seen success already on the battlefield, but I don’t have an exact timeline for when this next tranche will be delivered,” she said.
The US will refurbish HAWK air defense missile systems for the first time using Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, Singh said during the briefing.
Singh would not specify how many HAWK air defense systems will be refurbished and sent to Ukraine, citing operational security.
Some background: Ukraine has been asking NATO allies and the US for more air defense systems as Russian forces have continued to attack the country with missiles and Iranian-made drones. While the US has used Ukraine funding to provide NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System), another air defense system, those NASAMS have not arrived in Ukraine yet.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the US for the support later Friday: