US sending more weapons to Ukraine via sea routes to fight Russian aggression: Report | Russia Ukraine Crisis

In a bid to support Kyiv to fight the persisting Russian aggression, the United States has begun shipping weapons to war-torn Ukraine by sea, citing US defense officials, The Washington Post reported citing officials familiar with the matter. Although the delivery of arms by sea is slower than by aircraft, the newspaper on Saturday reported that ships can transport enormous amounts of cargo at once, allowing Kyiv to amass a larger stockpile of weaponry.  

The US defense officials told the media outlet that when Russia began its special military campaign at the end of February, Pentagon started transporting weaponry to Ukraine by sea within “a few weeks”. However, this spring, marine shipment expanded dramatically.  

Army Col. Steven Putthoff, the Deputy Director of Operations at US Transportation Command, said, “Once we started to provide them howitzers, we knew that we were going to need more ammunition,” The Post reported. He further stated, “So, we could plan ahead a little bit more, and then we could start to use more sealift to provide that support and to get it there sometimes even ahead of the request”.  

US’s weapons aid to Ukraine

Apart from this, as part of the $775 million agreement, the US on Friday, August 19, said that it will send a range of new weapons to the conflict-torn nation, which would include artillery, armoured vehicles, and drones. The Department of Defence (DoD) stated in a press statement that the authorisation represents the Biden Administration’s 19th drawdown of equipment from DoD stockpiles for Ukraine since August 2021.

In addition, a person familiar with the conversations told Politico before the DoD made its announcement on Friday that the US also expected to provide Excalibur precision-guided artillery rounds in another shipment. Notably, the tranche did not include these weapons. 

The ammunition would give the Ukrainians a new, precise weapon to target protected Russian outposts and command centres, as reported by Politico. Further, a source familiar with the talks surrounding the most recent military assistance package claimed that Ukraine “at some point in the future” will get M982 Excalibur munitions with a range of up to 70 kilometres. 

On August 19, the US had stated that it would give Kyiv Scan Eagle surveillance drones, mine-resistant vehicles, anti-armour ammunition, as well as howitzer artillery to help Ukrainian forces retake lost ground and launch a counteroffensive against Russian invading forces, as per media reports.  

According to a senior defence official, the new $775 million assistance package would consist of 15 Scan Eagles, 40 MRAPs with mine-clearing rollers, and 2,000 anti-armour rounds to help Ukrainian forces as they push in the south and east, where Russian forces had placed mines. The official noted that the US wants to help develop and equip the Ukrainian military of the future while the conflict goes on. 

(Image: AP)

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