What Is Included in Second $800 Million Military Aid Package for Ukraine

The U.S. government announced on Thursday that it was sending a second aid package to Ukraine worth $800 million, which includes an array of new military capabilities for Ukrainians to use in their ongoing war against Russia.

"This afternoon, April 21, the Department of Defense announces the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to an additional $800 million tailored to meet critical Ukrainian needs for today's fight as Russian forces launch a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine," the Department of Defense said in a statement.

The announcement on Thursday comes just a few days after the U.S. introduced a similar $800 million military aid package for the Eastern European nation.

Ukraine
The U.S. government announced a second $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, which included more drones, among other weapons. Above, an Ukrainian serviceman stands next to a downed Russian drone after a strike, in northwestern Kyiv, on March 22, 2022. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty

According to the statement from the Defense Department, the new military aid package includes 72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds; 72 tactical vehicles used to tow the Howitzers; more than 121 "Phoenix Ghost Tactical" drones; and field equipment and spare parts.

On Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that the Phoenix Ghost tactical drones were "rapidly developed by the Air Force in response specifically to Ukrainian requirements," The Hill reported.

The previous $800 million military aid package sent to Ukraine included 300 Switchblade tactical drones, among an array of other military weapons.

Kirby said that the Phoenix Ghost drones were similar to the Switchblade drones as they are able to be flown remotely and have a small explosive missile that is able to attack vehicles or personnel.

"It provides similar capabilities to the Switchblade series of unmanned systems — similar capabilities, but not exact," he said, per The Hill.

According to the U.S. Army's Acquisition Support Center, Howitzers provide "direct, reinforcing and general artillery fire support to maneuver forces."

In remarks announcing the new $800 million military aid package, U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that after Russian military forces retreated from Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, "they've launched and refocused their campaign to seize new territory in eastern Ukraine."

"In the past two months, we've moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed," Biden said. "The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every one Russian tank that's in Ukraine — a 10 to 1 ratio."

Biden also announced that on top of the $800 million military aid package, his administration was also sending Ukraine "an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance."

According to the Defense Department, the U.S. has sent approximately $3.4 billion in military aid to Ukraine following Russia's invasion of the Eastern European country on February 24.

The Defense Department had no further comment after Newsweek reached out.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry for comment.