Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Saturday his country was awaiting another multimillion shipment of rounds for US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
HIMARS ammunition was included in a $675 million US lethal aid package for Ukraine that was announced Thursday by the US Department of Defense. The Pentagon said it would be the 20th drawdown of its inventories for the eastern European nation since August 2021.
“The Ukrainian delegation has wrapped up a very eventful and fruitful visit to the Fifth Ukraine Defense Contact Group … An additional $675 million aid package was announced at the meeting. It includes crucial HIMARS ammo,” he said after a meeting at the US air base in Ramstein, Germany.
HIMARS can fire Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles, which have a range of up to 50 miles, as well as a single Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile, with a range of 186 miles. The US has been supplying Ukraine with GMLRSs, but Kyiv keeps insisting on ATACMS deliveries.
The US has committed some $15.2 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since January 2021. It has been supplying Ukrainian troops with a broad range of weaponry — from Stinger anti-aircraft systems, armored personnel carriers, and Mi-17 helicopters to grenade launchers.
US To Boost Production
The United States plans to boost its production capacity of 155mm ammunition from 14,000 to 36,000 shells per month over the next three years, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante said on Friday.
“Right now, the 155 [mm] munitions are [produced] at about 14,400 a month, and we have plans working with the contractor to get that in increments up to 36,000 a month by about three years. It’s going to be in steps,” LaPlante said during a press briefing.
At the same time, the United States is not the only country that manufactures this kind of munitions. Two weeks ago, the US army signed contracts with several companies around the world to purchase 250,000 rounds of 155mm munitions, LaPlante added.
To date, the United States has supplied Ukraine with more than 800,000 rounds of 155mm artillery shells used on 155-mm howitzers and over 100,000 rounds of 105mm munitions for 105-mm howitzers, among other equipment.
The new package also includes 100 Armored High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), 1.5 million rounds of small arms ammunition, more than 5,000 anti-armor systems, 1,000 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems, additional grenade launchers and small arms, 50 armored medical treatment vehicles, as well as night vision devices and other field equipment.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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