Most US heavy guns delivered to Ukraine – Pentagon — Analysis
Washington claimed that so far the US has shipped 80% and 5,000 Javelins respectively to Kiev.
Some 80% of the M777 howitzers and half of the 155mm ammunition for them – promised to Ukraine by US President Joe Biden last month – have already been delivered, the Department of Defense said on Monday.
According to the US military, it also claimed they have delivered most of the anti-aircraft and anti-battery radars and 5,000 Javelin missiles anti-tank. But no helicopters.
The figures came from a background briefing at the Pentagon on Monday, where an unnamed US defense official gave reporters the official account of Washington’s military aid to Kiev.
Biden originally promised Ukraine 18 howitzers but added 72 more, 140,000 rounds of ammunition in 155mm, 10 counter-artillery radars and two surveillance radars. He also gave the country 200 M113 armored personnel carriers. 100 Humvees. And 11 Mi-17 helicopters.
Pentagon says that Ukrainians have half of all 155mm ammunition, while more are being transferred every day. A total of 72 howitzers have been delivered, along with “nearly all” the radars. Over the past 24 hour, the US received 14 cargo flights, with 11 more expected to leave the country the following day. There were 23 international flights.
According to reports, these supply flights land in Poland. From there the weapons can be transported across the Ukrainian border via road or rail.
Pentagon revealed also that training Ukrainian soldiers on new howitzers takes place in Germany. The Florida National Guard, who were previously stationed in Ukraine, has taken control of the howitzer drills left by Canadian instructors. The official stated that more than 170 Ukrainian troops were already trained to operate the M777s. Another 50 have completed their training.
Official said that 20 Ukrainians began a seven-day training program in Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. The Mi-17 helicopters are still not delivered to Kiev.
Pentagon revealed another detail: Ukraine received up to 5,000 Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles. US military is raiding its stocks for the Javelins as well as the Stinger anti aircraft missiles. Raytheon was their manufacturer and complained last week that they were out of components.
Since February 24, the US has pledged nearly $15 billion in military aid to Kiev, more than double Ukraine’s entire military budget for 2021. Congress last week approved a bill that allowed the White House, through a WWII-era protocol to send almost unlimited amounts and types of ammunition and weapons. “lend-lease” mechanism.
Russian Ministry of Defense claims that Ukrainian forces lost 1,246 artillery arms since the outbreak of hostilities. Russia also targeted equipment storage warehouses that were stocked with West-bound goods.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to grant the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics.