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What’s in the latest Ukraine aid package?

(NewsNation) — As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the White House, the U.S. announced it would be sending an additional $1.8 billion in a military assistance package.

Here’s a look at what the Pentagon will be sending to help Ukrainians as they continue to push back against Russian troops in a protracted conflict that began in February.

Patriot Air Defense System

Zelenskyy has been requesting a Patriot system for months as Russian bombers have launched repeated strikes at Ukrainian cities. The Patriot is a surface-to-air guided missile system that can be used to defend against aircraft, cruise missiles and shorter range ballistic missiles.

A Patriot battery includes a truck-mounted launching system with eight launchers that can hold up to four missile interceptors each, a ground radar, a control station and a generator. 

Funding for Satellite Communication Terminals and Services

The satellite money would act as a hedge against the possibility that Elon Musk again threatens to stop funding them. Musk shipped the first Starlink terminals to Ukraine just days after Russia invaded in February, and as of October there were more than 2,200 of the low-orbiting satellites providing broadband internet to Ukraine.

In October he asked the Pentagon to take over the costs for operating Starlink in Ukraine, and tweeted that it was costing SpaceX $20 million a month to support the country’s communications needs.

Combat Vehicles

The package includes 27 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, 120 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) and six armored utility trucks. MRAPs allow Ukrainian troops to move through heavily mined areas, while HMMWVs and armored trucks will assist with moving equipment and troops throughout the country.

Combat Gear

Body armor and field equipment, tactical secure communications system and night vision devices and optics are all part of the package to outfit fighters. Ukraine’s military and civilian volunteers have often relied on gear and equipment cobbled together from whatever is available.

30 Mortar Systems

The aid package includes multiple mortar systems in different sizes, which are used in close-range combat, to provide indirect fire and suppress enemy troops.

Aerial Munitions

The aid package includes additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which Ukraine has used to target Russian supply lines, high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs), GRAD rockets. It also includes precision guided artillery rounds and aerial munitions, which are used to attack more specific targets and reduce collateral damage.

Small Arms and Ammunition

The aid package includes artillery rounds, Claymore anti-personnel munitions, grenade launchers and small arms. While Russia has bombarded Ukraine with missile strikes, the country has also faced close combat fighting in urban areas.

Funds for Training and Maintenance

The Department of Defense has committed funds to continue training Ukrainian troops on the weapons systems provided to them as well as maintenance. Officials say it could take months to get Ukrainians trained on the Patriot system alone.

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