The Biden administration is expected to announce a $625 million weapons aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday, including four High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, Reuters revealed, citing sources.
The second Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) package since the war began will also include 200 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and ammunition for howitzers and mines, the outlet added.
The PDA allows the administration to transfer equipment from existing stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency.
Weapons to Reach Ukraine in Days
The weapons expected to be announced Tuesday are likely to be delivered to Ukraine in “coming days,” Reuters wrote, adding that the announcement will take the number of HIMARS pledged to Ukraine under the PDA to 20.
The package will be the first since Russia announced the annexation of four occupied Ukrainian areas following referendums rejected by Kyiv and Western governments.
Additional 18 HIMARS to Be Purchased
The expected announcement comes days after the Pentagon announced a $1.1 billion aid package on September 28, which included 18 HIMARS, accompanying munitions, and a range of counter-drone and radar systems.
The September 28 package is financed through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), a Department of Defense-led program to increase Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself.
USAI aid takes longer to deliver than PDA packages as weapons must be procured rather than drawn from existing stockpiles.
The HIMARS announced under the USAI package are likely to take “a few years” to be delivered to Ukraine, a senior Pentagon official told AFP.