US Sending Patrol Boats, More Rocket Systems to Ukraine in Latest Weapons Package

Students at Technical Training School

Students at the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School learn the basics of patrol and riverine operations. The Pentagon is sending 18 small patrol boats to Ukraine. Navy photo by Mass Communication specialist RJ Stratchko.

The US is sending Ukraine another $450 million in military aid, including advanced rocket systems, artillery rounds, and armed patrol boats, the Pentagon announced Thursday, June 23. The new pledge comes barely a week after the US promised to send Ukraine a $1 billion weapons package.

The new package was announced as Ukrainian forces were retreating from the city of Sievierodonetsk in the country’s embattled Luhansk province.

A US senior defense official said Friday that the Ukrainians have left the city — which is surrounded by Russian-held territory — in order to form a more tenable defensive line.

rocket systems

The United States will send Ukrainian forces four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, the Pentagon announced Thursday, June 23, 2022. The latest weapons package brings the total US aid to more than $6 billion. Michigan National Guard photo by Capt. Joe Legros.

The United States will send Ukrainian forces four more high mobility artillery rocket systems, the Pentagon announced June 23, 2022. The latest weapons package brings the total US aid to more than $6 billion. Michigan National Guard photo by Capt. Joe Legros.

“The Russians are just eking out inch by inch of territory here,” the official said. “So in moving the Ukrainian Armed Forces ... what they are doing is putting themselves in a position where they can better defend themselves.”

The US package includes four more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. The US has already sent four of the medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine. It took about three weeks to train an initial group of Ukrainian troops to use the systems, and a second set of Ukrainians are now undergoing the same training, the US official said.

Though most of package is meant for the ongoing land war, it also includes 18 patrol boats. Though the Pentagon did not specify the type of boats sent, the senior defense official said the boats would be primarily used for river operations. Prior to the Russian invasion, Ukraine purchased six Mark VI patrol boats.

patrol boat

A Mark VI patrol boat, assigned to Coastal Riverine Group 1 Detachment Guam. The Pentagon said this week it was sending 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats to Ukraine. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield.

A MK VI patrol boat, assigned to Coastal Riverine Group 1 Detachment Guam. The Pentagon said this week it is sending 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats to Ukraine. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield)

The package also includes 18 more tactical vehicles, 1,200 grenade launchers, 2,000 machine guns, 36,000 rounds of 105mm ammo, spare parts, and other equipment, according to a press release from the Department of Defense.

Notably, the 105mm ammo will likely be used in non-US weapons, such as the British-made L119, which have been sent to Ukrainian forces by New Zealand. The US has already sent well over 100 M777 howitzer cannons to Ukraine, but those 155mm guns cannot use the smaller 105mm ammo.

Thursday’s announcement marks the 13th time the US has dipped into DOD stockpiles for Ukraine since August 2021, according to the Pentagon.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the US has pledged more than $6 billion in security assistance and sent Ukrainian forces thousands of weapons ranging from anti-aircraft missiles and drones to artillery and small arms. More than 100,000 American troops are also deployed in NATO-member countries across Europe.

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Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear-gassed during the 2020-21 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.
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