US agrees new $40 billion military aid to Ukraine including Patriot missile systems

According to information published by US media on May 20, 2022, the United States has approved a new aid of $40 billion to Ukraine with the military assistance of $20 billion including the delivery of Patriot air defense missile systems and long-range artillery weapons.
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Launcher vehicle from 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery’s U.S. Army Patriot Missile Systems. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

On May 19, 2022, the United States had already announced that another tranche of presidential drawdown support is headed to Ukraine. Included in the latest package are 18 155 mm howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow those howitzers, three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars, and additional field equipment and spare parts.

Citing the Washington Post, the new military aid will include $20 billion of weapons and combat equipment to Ukraine. The $40 billion will also include more than $8 billion in general economic support for Ukraine, nearly $5 billion in global food aid, and more than $1 billion in support for refugees. The United States will supply Patriot air defense missile systems and long-range artillery weapons to Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, the U.S. has provided nearly $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. The United States provided 90 155 mm howitzers to Ukraine, 200,000 artillery rounds as well as over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, over 5,000 Javelin anti-armor systems, and more than 700 Switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems.

The Patriot MIM-104 is a long-range air defense missile jointly produced by the American companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Patriot missile is able to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, fighter aircraft, and drones.

The main features of the PATRIOT system include a short response time, the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously, good ground mobility, and the ability to resist electronic jamming. The missile of the Patriot is able to intercept ballistic missiles at a range from 15 to 20 km.

The latest generation in the Patriot family is the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) which is an evolution of the battle-proven PAC-3 Missile. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE provides performance enhancements that counter evolving threat advancements. The enhancements ensure the PAC-3 Missile Segment of the PATRIOT Air Defense System is capable of engaging new and evolving threats. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, and capable theater air defense missile and defender against the entire threat to the PATRIOT Air Defense System: Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) carrying weapons of mass destruction, evolving cruise missiles, and aircraft.

The PAC-3 MSE design utilizes the latest technology to significantly increase performance. The PAC-3 MSE incorporates a larger, dual pulse solid rocket motor; larger fins; and upgraded actuators and thermal batteries to accommodate increased performance. The modifications extend the missile’s reach.