By Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States unveiled a $1.1 billion arms package for Ukraine’s battle with Russia that includes 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher systems, accompanying munitions, various types of counter drone systems and radar systems, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
The Pentagon’s announcement kicks off a contracting process to procure the weapons which could be delivered in between 6 and 24 months, a senior defense officials told reporters on a conference call.
Funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) appropriated by the U.S. Congress will be used to allow the Biden administration to procure weapons from industry rather than from existing U.S. weapons stocks.
Among the package are some 150 vehicles, 40 trucks and 80 trailers to transport heavy equipment, 2 radars to track unmanned aerial systems, 20 multi-mission radars tactical secure communications and surveillance systems as well as body armor training maintenance and spares.
HIMARS launchers are made by Lockheed Martin Corp.
This announcement marks $16.2 billion worth of U.S. security assistance since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Sandra Maler)