The U.S. and its allies are preparing to send more artillery systems and rounds as Russia launches a fresh offensive in eastern Ukraine.
The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed in a release that the new security assistance package for Ukraine will include 72 155mm howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds pulled from existing U.S. military stock.
Last week the U.S. announced it would ship 18 howitzers to Ukraine, along with 40,000 artillery shells to go with them. The U.S. will now ship 72 additional howitzers to Ukraine and 144,000 additional shells. That brings the total number of howitzers to 90.
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“These additional 72 howitzers will help basically fit out five more … artillery battalions for the Ukrainians,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said. “This was … very much in keeping with their needs, specifically in the Donbas, and the kind of fighting that has already started there and we expect to continue over days and weeks ahead.”
The latest security assistance package also includes 72 tactical vehicles which can be used to tow the howitzers.
Multiple news outlets reported that the Netherlands also decided to transfer its Panzerhaubitze 2000, better known as PzH 2000, advanced artillery system to Ukraine.
The Netherlands will send PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery systems and Germany will teach the Ukrainian military to use them and hand over the necessary ammunition.
The source of the publication clarified that the training will take place in Poland or Germany, as it is impossible to conduct it in Ukraine due to a full-scale war with Russia.
French President Emanuel Macron announced Friday that the country is transferring 155mm Ceaser self-propelled artillery to Ukraine.