Drones, missiles and rockets: Joe Biden offers Ukraine an arsenal to fight Russia

Expert analysis of what the Biden administration is now sending to Ukraine: Indicating that the fighting in Ukraine will continue, the Biden The administration announced that it would send new weapons to Ukraine, as part of a $775 million package.

“This clearance is the eighteenth removal of equipment by the Biden administration from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021,” the Department of Defense website said. “This is the largest drawdown of American weapons and equipment using this authority, and this package provides a significant amount of additional ammunition, weapons and equipment – the types that the Ukrainian people use so effectively to defend his country.” The package includes drones, armored vehicles and artillery.

More specifically, the packet will be to understand 15 ScanEagle surveillance drones – which the United States has never sent to Ukraine before. The ScanEagle, developed by Boeing Insitu, is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle. Curiously, the ScanEagle is derived from a drone that was not built for war; the ScanEagle grew out of the SeaScan, a drone designed to collect weather data and help commercial fishermen find schools of tuna. In Ukraine, rather than tracking the Tuna, the ScanEagle will be used to “spot and correct artillery and precision rocket strikes that have wreaked havoc on Russian forces,” according to POLITICO.

While the ScanEagle gift complements artillery operations, which are ongoing, other aspects of the aid suggest the intensity of the fighting will increase. “Other evidence included in the installment suggests preparations are underway for Ukrainian ground troops to make this push into the south where fighting has been at a stalemate for weeks as the war has settled into a long punitive artillery duel,” POLITICO reported. Other items include 40 MaxxPro Mine Resistant Vehicles, which, as their name suggests, are heavily armored. The MaxxPro was developed for US forces operating in Iraq, which had to pass through roadside bombs. In Ukrainewhere the Russians created mine fields Along roads and in fields, the MaxxPro will help open pathways for Ukrainian troops to move (more) safely.

Also included in the package TOW anti-tank guided missile systems. The TOW, or “Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided”, is an American-made anti-tank missile. In service since 1970, the TOW offers excellent range and a powerful warhead, with a semi-automatic guidance system that can be fitted with an infrared camera for nighttime use. At just under $100,000 per unit, the TOW system is relatively affordable.

The United States also sends sixteen 105 mm howitzers with 36,000 rounds; and – particularly telling – 2,000 rounds for the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle – a Saab product and what looks like a bazooka-style rocket launcher. The Carl Gustaf is a small anti-armour weapon often used by US Special Forces. The Gustaf “can be transported easily and is designed to work up close with an enemy”, according to POLITICO, suggesting that “the Ukrainians expect close combat in the coming weeks”.

Carl Gustaf. Image credit: Saab.

There is more. The United States will understand AGM-88 MAL, or high-speed anti-radiation missiles. Launched from a fighter jet, the AGM-88 is a tactical air-to-surface missile designed to pick up electronic transmissions from surface-to-air radar systems, meaning the missile is particularly effective at killing enemy radars . Designed by Texas Instruments, the AGM-88 MAL has been used in the United States since 1985. Each missile costs approximately $284,000.

The United States has already sent considerable amounts of aid to Ukraine. The most recently announced $775 million is another drop in the ocean. “In total, the United States has now committed approximately $9.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Biden administration,” the Department of Defense website said. is bragging.

The United States is expected to continue funding the Ukrainian war effort. Future weapon packs are already in the works; as a source told POLITICO, the United States plans to send Excalibur precision-guided artillery munitions – a Raytheon product – in a package to come “at some point in the future”. Excalibur ammunition “would give the Ukrainians a new precision weapon with which to target buried Russian positions and command posts.”

Hopes US could help or encourage Ukrainians to sue peace seem out of place. The United States is clearly invested in helping Ukraine prolong the war indefinitely.

What the Experts Said 19FortyFive

“With nearly $10 billion and counting, the Biden administration appears to be doing everything it can to help Ukraine not just defend itself, but even have an offensive capability,” a national security expert explained. Harry J. Kazianis, president of the Rogue States project. “My question is, what is the overall goal of the Biden administration’s Ukraine strategy? Is the goal for Ukraine to take back every square centimeter of territory that Russia has seized? And Crimea? How long will the war last? How much will Biden be willing to spend? How do they plan to make sure Putin doesn’t try to respond if he feels he’s losing? For me, none of these questions has been answered.

Harrison Kass is the senior defense writer at 19FortyFive. A lawyer, pilot, guitarist and minor professional hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a trainee pilot, but was discharged for medical reasons. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.

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