Austin said that the US will announce new assistance to Ukraine in the supply of four more HIMARS weapons

Later this week, the US is set to announce a new arms package for Ukraine, which will include the shipment of four more High Mobility Artillery Missile System (HIMARS) launchers, as well as additional precision-guided missiles and artillery munitions.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday announced the upcoming security assistance announcement following the latest meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, in which senior defense officials from more than 50 countries met virtually to discuss the latest international arms donation efforts.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley answer questions during a news conference at the Pentagon, July 20, 2022. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeely)

“Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion spurred the international community to action. And today’s meeting is just another sign that nations of goodwill are moving forward. The security assistance that we are rushing to provide to Ukraine is having real benefits in real time,” Austin said at a press briefing after the meeting. “Ukrainian forces are now using long-range missile systems, including HIMARS provided by the United States and other systems of our allies and partners, to great effect.”

Due to the fact that a new package of weapons will be announced soon, Austin noted that the United States will now transfer 16 HIMARS to Ukraine, of which 12 Lockheed Martin [LMT]Launchers have already been delivered to support Kiev in its fight against the Russian invasion.

“We are committed to sending more HIMARS and precision artillery munitions, as well as other critical support,” Austin told reporters. “The Ukrainians have made excellent use of HIMARS and you can see the impact on the battlefield.”

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said during a panel discussion with the Atlantic Council on Tuesday that his country would likely need about 50 long-range missile systems, such as HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers, to “effectively deter” Russia and at least 100 such systems “for an effective counteroffensive” (Defense DailyJuly 19).

Austin said the Ukraine Defense Contact Group was able to hear directly from Reznikov and Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Maisyuk, Ukraine’s deputy defense chief, during a meeting Wednesday about Kiev’s urgent equipment needs and the latest updates on the battlefield.

“They described how Russia is building up artillery and missile fire in its desperate, aggressive push to seize sovereign Ukrainian territory in the Donbass,” Austin said. “Ukraine needs the firepower and ammunition to counter this barrage and strike the Russian weapons that are launching these attacks from within Ukraine. So we understand the urgency and are working hard to maintain and increase the momentum of the donation.”

At the meeting, Austin mentioned that the Czech Republic, Poland and the UK were “working with their domestic industrial bases to find ways to provide even more rapid aid to Ukraine”, and noted Australia and partners in the Baltic region for their efforts to “continue to generously supply items from their own stockpiles”.

“I am very grateful to these countries and to all the countries that have offered help. I am confident that these efforts will be expanded,” Austin said. Austin said that the US will announce new assistance to Ukraine in the supply of four more HIMARS weapons

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