The USA is expected to announce a new package of military aid for Ukraine Friday, including – for the first time – eight armoured vehicles which can launch bridges and allow troops to cross rivers or other gaps, officials have said.
The officials, speaking yesterday, put the total cost of the package at roughly $400 million (£333million ) and will also include large amounts of ammunition, such as rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.
It comes just a week after the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as Ukrainian forces are preparing for a spring offensive.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid package has not yet been publicly announced.
The so-called Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge is a portable, 60-foot folding metal bridge that is carried on top of a tank body.
Providing that system now could help Ukrainian troops as they launch the expected offensive, and make it easier for troops to cross rivers to get to Russian forces.
Including this latest package, the U.S. has now provided more than $32 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The vehicle bridges and ammunition in the package will be taken from Pentagon stocks through the presidential drawdown authority, so they will be able to be delivered quickly to the warfront.
The aid will also include an undisclosed amount of rounds for howitzers, other ammunition, demolition munitions and other equipment to clear obstacles, spare parts and equipment for vehicle maintenance and repair.