The Ukrainian Army is probably going to plan a counterattack across the entire front once it receives new weapons from the US.
The 29th military aid package to Ukraine, with a record value of more than 3 billion USD, was disclosed by the Pentagon on the evening of January 6, 2023. The unique aspect is that all equipment will be taken directly from the US Army’s arsenal.
The US Department of Defense announced that 50 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 500 BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, and 250,000 rounds of 25 mm artillery shells would be transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). 138 Humvees, 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, and 55 mine-resistant armored vehicles(MRAPs) round up the fleet .
Regarding artillery weapons, the current aid package includes 18 more 155 mm self-propelled guns and 18 vehicles for them; although not specified, the M109A7 Palladin has been suggested by the media.
10,000 120 mm mortar rounds, 500 155 mm guided rounds, 1,200 RAAM rounds for remote anti-tank mine placement, and 70,000 “traditional” shells are also part of the package in this aid to guarantee the combat capability of Ukrainian artillery.
In addition, 36 105 mm light howitzers and 95,000 ammunition for them would continue to be supplied to the Ukrainian Army, along with an undefined number of extra M142 HIMARS missiles.
It’s common practice in Kyiv for the media to compare the quantity of ammunition supplied with the average daily rate of firing of both the Russian and Ukrainian military. Its ammunition consumption, at 70,000 155 mm rounds and 95,000 105 mm rounds, is comparable to that of the AFU counterattack in Kharkiv province in September 2022.
In spite of the projected 100,000 rounds and the fact that they “saved” multiple tens of thousands of shells of all kinds, Ukrainian artillery fired 32,500 rounds in the 5 days of battle at the time.
It’s also intriguing to see the variety of infantry weapons included in the most recent US military aid donation. For instance, the Ukrainian Army also acquired an additional 2,000 anti-tank missiles in addition to the 500 TOW anti-tank missiles that were previously revealed (of unknown type).
It was also alleged that an unknown quantity of small arms, thermal imaging gear, and—possibly most intriguingly—a Claymore directional mine, which the Soviet Union had modeled into the MON-50—had been sent.
The supply of RIM-7 Sea Sparrow air defense missiles to the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces has also been publicly announced by the Pentagon, but it is still a highly guarded technological secret how they will be modified to fire from the Buk-M1 launcher.
How an unguided missile called the Zuni would be launched from a Ukrainian helicopter is also kept a secret (in fact, in some respects, the Zuni rocket is similar to the Soviet-made S-13 and S-25). Pentagon officials promised to supply 4,000 units.
It should be noted that firing Zuni rockets with a diameter of 127 mm requires a unique platform because they are not compatible with Soviet-style aircraft.
If we evaluate the variety and types of weapons in the context of the US’s 29th military aid package as a whole, then this is precisely what the Ukrainian Armed Forces require to get ready for a new counterattack.
Although it is obvious that Kyiv needs more weaponry, it is unclear what more “puzzles” will be added to the overall image of the rearmament of the army of the United States’ allies.