New HIMARS for Ukraine may take time to deliver, says Pentagon
18 HIMARS systems will be delivered to Ukraine within several years (Photo:defense.gov)
A new military aid package for Ukraine from the United States, consisting in part of 18 HIMARS systems and ammunition, may take a while to arrive — as they’re being ordered directly from the manufacturer, a senior U.S. defense official said at a briefing on Sept. 28. Earlier shipments were drawn from existing U.S. military stocks.
"The procurement and delivery of these HIMARS systems and associated ammunition will take a few years," the official said.
"Today's announcement is only the beginning of a procurement process."
While the long-term purchase of new HIMARS for Ukraine doesn’t prevent the United States from continuing to send existing systems from its arsenal if necessary, it serves the larger purpose of having these systems under contract and in reserve for deliveries later, he noted.
"If we don't invest today to procure HIMARS for the future, they won't be there when the Ukrainian armed forces need them down the road," the official said.
"This is a really sizable investment and it's intended so that down the road, Ukraine will have what it needs for the long-haul to deter future threats. It in no way rules out us continuing to invest in their current force with capabilities that are available today, and that we can draw down today from U.S. stocks.”
In total, the military aid package of which the HIMARS system are a part of totals $1.1 billion, as announced by the Pentagon on Sept. 27. It includes:
• 18 HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and their ammunition;
• 150 Humvee armored vehicles;
• 150 tactical vehicles for towing weapons;
• 40 trucks and 80 trailers for transporting heavy equipment;
• two radars for UAVs;
• 20 multipurpose radars;
• systems for countering UAVs;
• tactical systems for secure communication and surveillance, optics;
• explosive ordnance disposal equipment;
• body armor and other equipment;
• funding, training, and logistical support for troops.
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