5 notable weapons in the new US aid package for Ukraine

With a new aid package worth $ 1.85 billion, the US first provided Ukraine with a Patriot air defense missile system.

Ahead of the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the administration of US President Joe Biden announced a new aid package worth $1.85 billion to Kiev, bringing the total value of military aid to the country to $21 billion since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February.

Speaking at a joint press conference after talks with his counterpart Joe Biden, Zelensky thanked Washington for its support over the years. On the other hand, he said, Ukraine still needs more weapons to quickly end the conflict and prepare to enter its 11th year.

Newsweek newspaper has listed the 5 most notable weapons in the new US aid package for Ukraine.

Patriot Shield

The Patriot surface-to-air missile system is considered the most expensive and most modern air defense system that the US has provided to Ukraine since the beginning of this year. President Zelensky affirmed that Patriot will certainly help “significantly increase Ukraine’s air defense capabilities”.

Patriot is capable of tracking multiple targets at the same time and operating in extreme weather conditions. Patriot PAC-3 missiles can hit targets such as aircraft, ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is capable of intercepting targets at an altitude of up to 40km. A PAC-3 missile costs about $4 million. The Pentagon did not disclose how many of these missiles the United States will deliver to Ukraine.

Although Patriot is considered to have many advantages, training to operate this complex requires a lot of time, possibly up to several months.

Coordinated Frontal Attack Controller (JDAM)

The new aid package also includes a coordinated frontal attack controller (JDAM), a type of tool that can be integrated to turn conventional bombs into smart bombs guided by GPS. JDAM can hit targets at a distance of nearly 30km.

According to the Washington Post, the US military has used this device on bombs weighing more than 900kg, often in coordination with bombers and fighters. 

Ukrainian planes often have to fly low to avoid Russian anti-aircraft radars and this significantly affects their ability to strike accurately. JDAM can help their fighters drop bombs with greater precision, at longer distances.

It is not clear whether Ukraine will use this smart bomb for aircraft or ground

HIMARS and Excalibur. cannons

The M142 high mobility rocket system (HIMARS) is considered to have contributed significantly to changing the situation of the Russian-Ukrainian war since the US supplied Ukraine with these complexes from the middle of this year. With HIMARS, the Ukrainian military can attack positions of Russian forces up to 80-100km away with high accuracy.

In the new aid package, the US continues to provide HIMARS to Ukraine but does not specify the amount. Kiev currently possesses 18 HIMARS batteries along with 10 equivalent artillery systems that are supplied by other Western allies such as the German MARS, and the British M270B1.

In addition, the aid package also includes 500 Excalibur precision-guided 155mm shells. A Ukrainian commander recently said that Excalibur is very effective in destroying enemy military vehicles from a distance. The cannon has a range of about 50km and can be programmed to detonate itself.

Missile AGM-88 HARM

The AGM-88 HARM is a tactical air-to-ground missile designed to lead to targets based on electronic emissions combined with the radar guidance system of air-to-surface missiles.

Ukraine has been using the AGM-88 HARM to destroy Russian air defense systems from long distances. This week, Russia announced it had intercepted four of these missiles in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine.

When the AGM-88 HARM first appeared in Ukraine this summer, observers were quite surprised that the Ukrainian Air Force was able to use those missiles on Soviet-era fighters.

HARM is a relatively old missile, first deployed in 1983. It has a length of about 4m, weighs more than 300kg, and can hit targets 50km away, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 2 (about 2,450). km/h).

The addition of AGM-88 HARM to Ukraine will increase the challenge for Russia’s air defense systems, especially since Moscow still has not been able to gain air supremacy over Ukraine after 10 months of conflict.

Cougar and Humvee cars

The progress of Ukraine’s advance is slowing down due to the influence of the early winter rainy weather that made the ground muddy. Both Russia and Ukraine are waiting until mid-winter when the ground begins to freeze to launch attacks with motor vehicles. At that time, tanks and armored vehicles will play a breakthrough role, however, reconnaissance and light armored vehicles also play an important role in penetrating weak points in the enemy’s defenses.

In the new aid package, the US will provide Ukraine with 37 Cougar anti-mine ambush vehicles. Kiev currently owns 20 Cougars and an unspecified number of British Mastiffs.

In addition, Washington also transferred to Ukraine 120 highly mobile multi-purpose vehicles Humvee. This is a model car produced by American Motors Corporation of America in 1980.

With a range of 560km, a travel speed of 105km/h – 144km/h, the Humvee has a carrying capacity from 1,200kg to 2,200kg depending on the variant. In particular, it is capable of wading 76 cm deep in normal conditions, or up to 1.5m when integrated with a wading support system.

The Humvee is designed to withstand explosions equivalent to 5.4kg of TNT in front of the vehicle or 1.8kg of TNT in the back of the vehicle. The Humvee is capable of equipping anti-tank missiles, heavy machine guns, and grenade launchers.

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