US Pledges Advanced Missile Systems To Help Ukraine Shoot Down Russian Drones

The United States announced a new security assistance package that includes more critical air defense capabilities such as Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems and additional systems to help Ukraine shoot down Russian drones.

The package, worth $1.3 billion, also includes additional artillery rounds and mine-clearing equipment, as well as unmanned aerial systems, and equipment that will help Ukraine better protect its ports, the White House said.

After pulling out of the grain export deal earlier this week, Russia has renewed attacks on Ukrainian port cities.

Russian forces have been launching cruise missiles targeting the southern city of Odesa consecutively for the past three days. Ukrainian defenses were only able to thwart a quarter of them, reports say.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed Russia of deliberately attempting to cripple Ukraine’s ability to export grain to different parts of the world by attacking its port infrastructure.

The capabilities under the latest round of U.S. security assistance includes2mm artillery rounds; Mine clearing equipment; Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles; Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS); Precision aerial munitions; Counter-UAS and electronic warfare detection equipment; 150 fuel trucks; 115 tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment; 50 tactical vehicles to recover equipment; Port and harbor security equipment; Tactical secure communications systems; and Support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities, the Pentagon said.

The Ukraine-bound weapons and equipment are being procured by the Defense Department through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative as part of Washington’s commitment to strengthen Ukraine’s military over the near and long term.

At the NATO summit in Vilnius last week, President Joe Biden had made it clear that the United States is committed to supporting Ukraine alongside its allies and partners now and for the long future.

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