What’s in the latest US military bundle for Ukraine?

18 April, 06:45 PM
Weapons supplies to Ukraine (Photo:Spc. Micah Clare)

Weapons supplies to Ukraine (Photo:Spc. Micah Clare)

Washington has announced it is sending a further $800 million in military aid to Ukraine. But what does the new Pentagon package include?

During a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, U.S. President Joe Biden previously said that the Ukrainian military was using U.S. weapons "to devastating effect."

In light of this, the United States and Ukraine have agreed on another batch of weapons that will help protect the country from Russian aggression.

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It emerged that the new $800 million aid package will include "highly effective weapons systems," among them artillery systems, artillery rounds, helicopters, armored personnel carriers, as well as weapons to repel the "wider assault that Russia is preparing to launch in eastern Ukraine."

The Pentagon has also noted that some of the new weapons the United States is sending to Ukraine will require training for the Ukrainian military.

In particular, training will be required for the use of howitzer systems and anti-artillery radar stations, which were not previously available to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the U.S. military is working on a “train-the-trainer” program that will be organized "very quickly."

The New Voice of Ukraine has compiled information about the new weapons supplied by the United States to Ukraine.

From helmets to helicopters

According to The Warzone publication, the new $800 million military aid package for Ukraine includes:

  • 18 155-mm towed howitzers with 40,000 artillery rounds;
  • 10 AN/TPQ-36 counter-battery radars;
  • two AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars;
  • 300 Switchblade kamikaze drones;
  • 500 Javelin missiles and "thousands of other anti-armor systems";
  • 200 M113 armored personnel carriers;
  • 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (‘Humvee’);
  • 11 Russian-built Mi-17 Hip helicopters;
  • unmanned coastal defense vessels;
  • chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear (CBRN) protective equipment;
  • 30,000 sets of bulletproof vests and helmets;
  • over 2,000 optical and laser rangefinders;
  • C-4 plastic explosives and demolition equipment for mine clearing;
  • M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel mines.

NV has previously described some of the weapons, including the modern kamikaze drones Switchblade and ATGM Javelin, that have already been used effectively by the Ukrainian military since the beginning of the war.

Now let's take a closer look at other weapons that the United States is now providing to Ukraine.

Mi-17 Hip helicopters

ukrmilitary.com
Фото: ukrmilitary.com

Allegedly, the Russian Mi-17 helicopters remained in the United States after the military campaign in Afghanistan, and they belonged to the now-disbanded Afghan Air Force.

These helicopters were developed in the Soviet Union in 1975 based on the Mi-8M, and they are used as medium twin-turbine transport helicopters. But there are also their armed gunship versions.

The Mi-17 is in service with almost 80 countries, including Ukraine, Poland, China, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, India, Turkey, Hungary, North Korea and more.

Combat versions of the helicopters can be equipped with weapons on six hard points, including S-8 missiles, UPK-23-250 gun pods, Ataka anti-tank guided missiles, along with other high-precision munitions next to those and two window machine guns.

The main crew of the helicopter comprises three people (two pilots and one engineer), and its capacity is 24 servicemen, or 4,000 kg of cargo, or 5,000 kg of cargo on the external suspension.

The maximum takeoff weight of the Mi-17 is about 13.5 tons, while the empty helicopter weighs 7.5 tons.

Mi-17 flight range is up to 800 km at a cruise speed of 280 km/h. The service ceiling of the helicopter is 6,000 meters, and the rate of climb is 8 m/s.

Humvee SUVs

ukrmilitary.com
Фото: ukrmilitary.com

This combat SUV has been used by the U.S. Army since 1984. The vehicle boasts a high clearance; it is suitable for air transport and parachuting.

Four-wheel drive Humvees are equipped with petrol and diesel V8 engines from 5.7 to 6.5 liters with an output of up to 160 hp.

The maximum speed of the armored car is 113 km/h, and the load capacity is up to two tons, with a curb weight of 2,676 kg.

Some versions of the Humvee were equipped with TOW anti-tank systems and even AIM-120 anti-aircraft guided missiles.

There are also reinforced armored versions of the car weighing about 4.5 tons, double-cab pickups, and a four-door version with a hard-top body.

M113 armored personnel carriers

thedrive.com
Фото: thedrive.com

The U.S. M113 armored personnel carrier has been in operation since 1960 and is still in service with many countries around the world, including Ukraine.

The M113 is the basis for armored personnel carriers with machine guns and grenade launchers, infantry fighting vehicles with automatic guns, command and staff vehicles with radios, as well as self-propelled mortars, howitzers, anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft self-propelled units, anti-aircraft missile systems, flamethrowers, and bridge layers.

The tracked M113 can reach speeds of up to 64 km/h and have a maximum range of 320 km.

The crew of the armored personnel carrier consists of two people, but up to 11 paratroopers can be carried on board.

There are also amphibious versions of the M113, and the maximum thickness of its aluminum armor is 44 mm.

Despite the fact that the armored personnel carrier is still used in many countries, it is gradually being superseded by more modern vehicles.

155-mm towed howitzers

US Army
Фото: US Army

Operating enhanced U.S. howitzers, which have been used since World War II, will require training for the Ukrainian military.

A crew of 11 people is needed to operate each howitzer. The rate of fire of shell casings of separate loading is 4-8 shots per minute.

The muzzle velocity of the projectile is 563 m/s, and the maximum firing range is 14.6 km.

These howitzers have also been experimentally mounted on a lengthened chassis of the M5 light tank. The variant was adopted as the M41 Howitzer Motor Carriage and took part in fighting in the Korean War. Subsequently, the weapon was replaced by the M44 self-propelled howitzer.

AN/TPQ-36 and AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar systems

raytheonmissilesanddefense.com
Фото: raytheonmissilesanddefense.com

Modern U.S. radars also require the training for the Ukrainian military, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

However, data for 2019 suggests Ukraine had 13 AN/TPQ-36 mobile anti-battery radar units in service.

In addition to searching for enemy mortars, artillery, MLRS and missile launchers, the system can also support its own artillery for more accurate aiming and adjustment of fire.

The maximum range for the detection of missiles is up to 24 km, and artillery — up to 18 km.  The systems can track up to 99 targets.

The AN/TPQ-36 is most often towed by the above-mentioned Humvee SUVs.

The AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D radar, in turn, is used to alert short-range air defenses, and these radars are in service with forward area U.S. air defense units.

The system has been in use since the early 2000s, and its radars can automatically detect, track and identify cruise missiles, drones, helicopters, and aircraft.

The effective radar scanning range is up to 40 km, and the radar is also resistant to electronic warfare.

The AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel is located far from the main part of the unit, operates autonomously, and communicates with the fire control center via broadband fiber-optic communication line.

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