The Pentagon announced Friday it will send Ukraine another $275 million worth of military aid from its own stocks to fight the ongoing Russian invasion, which has entered its ninth month.
The latest package includes HIMARS rocket system ammunition, 500 precision-guided artillery rounds, 2,000 155mm howitzer rounds, 155 Humvee tactical vehicles, remote anti-armor mine systems, more than 1,300 shoulder-mounted multipurpose assault weapons, and more than 2.75 million rounds of small arms ammunition, DOD spokesperson Sabrina Singh said Friday.
Unlike the 23 previous packages sent by the US, Friday’s aid tranche includes military satellite communication antennas designed to connect Ukrainian fighters when Russia destroys civilian infrastructure.
“These just help improve communications capabilities on the battlefield,” Singh said. “I mean, we’re seeing Ukrainian infrastructure and electrical grids being targeted by the Russians and these antennas provide an additional capability on the ground at a critical time when Ukraine’s infrastructure has been hit.”
The help comes after billionaire Elon Musk threatened earlier this month to stop providing his Starlink satellite internet to Ukraine and asked the US government to foot the bill instead. He later dropped the threat and continues to provide Ukraine the service for free, as he has since the early days of the war.
“The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free,” Musk said in a tweet on Oct. 16.
Singh claimed the satellites “are not intended to serve as a substitute for a service like Starlink.”
“These SATCOM antennas are going to provide additional communications capabilities to the Ukrainians at a critical time but are separate from what Starlink provides,” she said.
The latest aid package brings the total amount the US has committed to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration to more than $18.5 billion.