UK and US have announced significant military aid packages to support Ukraine

Ukraine had repeatedly asked the US administration for ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems). Kyiv pledged not to use them inside Russia's territory but said the powerful weapons would alter the course of the 20-month-old war. [X, formerly Twitter]

The UK and US have announced significant military aid packages to support Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce a £500 million ($617 million) military aid package to Ukraine during his visit to Poland, marking the largest-ever military aid package provided by the UK.

This package includes Storm Shadow cruise missiles, 1,600 strike and air defense missiles, more than 400 vehicles, and 60 boats. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that US weapons will be delivered ‘quickly.’

The US House of Representatives has also passed a package of aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and the Senate is set to vote on the aid package after a delay. The aid from both countries aims to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities in the face of Russian aggression.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden finalized an agreement on the delivery of Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine on April 22. This decision is a crucial step in Ukraine’s defense strategy, aligning with their four key priorities in terms of US aid: protecting the sky, modern artillery, long-range capabilities, and timely aid package arrivals.

Air defence systems, mid to long-range missiles and artillery shells remain the most pressing weaponry needed by Ukraine.

And let’s not forget bread-and-butter weapons. M777 howitzers need to be fed a continuous diet of 155mm artillery shells.

The United States has sent 2,000,000 such shells to Ukraine since February 2022 and more will likely be sent in this latest package.

Ukrainian pilots and crews continue their conversion training to western F-16 jets, currently in Romania. These multi-role aircraft provide a stronger air-to-air and air-to-ground capability, thereby potentially improving Ukrainian air defences.

Denmark, the Netherlands and the US expect to deliver the first of dozens of “Vipers” to Ukraine within months. The jets won’t be a game-changer but another significant arrow in the quiver for Kyiv.

Zelensky expressed gratitude towards President Biden, the US Congress, and America for their support in this significant development aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

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