NATIONAL NEWS

Biden expected to announce $225 million weapons package for Ukraine, including Patriot system

Jul 11, 2024, 8:34 AM

President Joe Biden attends Working Session II of the NATO Summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11,...

President Joe Biden attends Working Session II of the NATO Summit in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to announce that the U.S. will provide Ukraine an additional Patriot missile system to bolster its air defenses against a deadly onslaught of Russian airstrikes, including one this week that hit a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

Two U.S. officials said the battery, part of a $225 million aid package expected to be announced during Biden’s meeting Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, would be the second Patriot air defense system the U.S. has provided to Ukraine. AP reported in June that the U.S. would send another Patriot.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide details of the aid before the public announcement.

The additional system will be paid for through presidential drawdown authority, which allows the military to pull the system directly from its stocks and quickly get it to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy late last month pleaded for additional U.S.-made Patriot systems, arguing that they will help his forces fight the close to 3,000 bombs that he said Russia launches into the country every month.

The system is one of several Biden announced this week at the NATO summit being held in Washington, part of a swell of pledges to get weapons to Ukraine to help it fend off Russian attacks.

On Tuesday, through a joint statement the U.S., Germany and Romania said they would provide Ukraine with Patriot batteries, while the Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery and Italy will provide a SAMP-T air defense system.

Other allies, including Canada, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom, will provide a number of other systems that will help Ukraine expand its coverage. Those systems include NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS and Gepards. And other nations have agreed to provide munitions for those systems.

In addition, last week the U.S. pledged an additional $150 million in weapons to be pulled directly from its stocks, including air defense interceptors, artillery and other fires, and anti-tank weapons. It also pledged $2.2 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, a mechanism used to put longer-term weapons systems on order, including Patriot missiles and NASAM air defense systems.

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Biden expected to announce $225 million weapons package for Ukraine, including Patriot system