Pentagon Announces $800M in Assistance for Ukraine, Including Newly-Developed ‘Phoenix Ghost’ Drones

BORYSPIL, UKRAINE - JANUARY 25: Ground personnel unload weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, and other military hardware delivered on a National Airlines plane by the United States military at Boryspil Airport near Kyiv on January 25, 2022 in Boryspil, Ukraine. The shipment comes as tensions between the NATO military alliance …
Sean Gallup/Getty

The Pentagon on Thursday afternoon announced the authorization of $800 million more in security assistance for Ukraine as its fight with Russia concentrates in east, bringing the total U.S. assistance to Ukraine under the Biden administration to more than $4 billion.

The package includes more than 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems — new drones rapidly developed by the Air Force specifically for Ukrainian forces that is similar to the AeroVironment Switchblade drones that have been already provided. The Phoenix Ghost systems are produced by AEVEX Aerospace.

“It will require some minimal training, for knowledgeable UAS operators to be able to use it and we’re going to be working through those training requirements directly with the Ukrainian armed forces,” a senior defense official said during a background briefing.

The package also include 72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds and 72 tactical vehicles to tow the Howitzers, as well as field equipment and spare parts.

File/U.S. Paladin 155mm Howitzer is bound on a train during a railhead operation of prepositioned equipment at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, 220 kms southeast of Seoul. ( JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

“This commitment, together with the 18 155mm Howitzers announced on April 13, provides enough artillery systems to equip five battalions,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

“The United States will continue to utilize all available tools to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the face of Russian aggression,” he added.

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