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US set to announce $1-billion arms package for Ukraine: Report

A view shows an M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) being fired in an undisclosed location in Ukraine, June 24, 2022. (Via Reuters)

The administration of US President Joe Biden is planning to announce yet another military aid package for Ukraine to add to about $8.8 billion in assistance Washington has given Kiev since Russia launched the campaign five months ago.

The new arms package, expected to be worth $1 billion, will reportedly include ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) as well as some 50 M113 armored medical vehicles, Reuters cited three sources with knowledge of the matter.

The package, one of the largest so far, is expected to be announced as early as Monday, the report said Friday.

According to sources, Biden has not signed the weapons package, yet. The sources cautioned the weapons packages can change in value and content before they are signed.

If signed in its current form, the new package would be valued at $1 billion.

The new aid package follows a separate security assistance package by the Department of Defense , which also includes additional ammunition for HIMARS.

HIMARS is a long-range, mobile rocket system that can hit targets with precision. Its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, says the systems have a "recognized and proven range" of up to 300 kilometers.

Since President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared the campaign in Ukraine on February 24, the United States has been providing Kiev with military aid, including at least 16 HIMARS systems.

Russia said on Tuesday its forces have destroyed six HIMARS in Ukraine since the start of the war. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Russian generals last month to prioritize destroying the long-range missiles and artillery weapons. The ministry said at the time that the US-made weapons were being used to strike residential areas of the Russian-held Donbass and to intentionally set fire to wheat fields and grain storage silos.

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