Pentagon to supply Ukraine with double HIMARS artillery

The United States will more than double its commitment to Ukraine’s long-range rocket artillery system, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, as part of a long-term strategy by the United States and its partners to increase weapons production in response to a Russian invasion.

The $1.1 billion package will include 18 High Mobility Rocket Artillery System (HIMARS) launchers that have wreaked havoc on command posts and logistics hubs behind the Russian front. The United States has delivered 16 systems capable of delivering precision munitions up to 50 miles away from existing inventories.

A senior U.S. defense official told reporters that the new part would take “several years” to build and deliver, underscoring efforts to provide Ukraine’s long-term defense infrastructure while allies and partners accelerated tailoring. Customized equipment and ammunition packs to meet the most pressing needs. HIMARS represents “a core component of Ukraine’s future combat power,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon.

Russians flee mobilization, leaving everything behind

Separately, the Pentagon said Wednesday that the United States intends to increase production of “land-based long-range firepower, air defense systems, air-to-surface munitions and other capabilities” to sustain Ukraine’s military over the long term. Nearly 20 other countries have also agreed to expand their industrial bases and accelerate production of weapons that could replace Russian and Soviet-era equipment in Ukraine with modern systems used by NATO, defense officials said in a statement.

The announcement comes as Russia is pressuring as many as 300,000 conscripts to replace and strengthen struggling troops pushed back by Ukraine’s offensive in the east and south. Another U.S. official told reporters that it would be a challenge for the Kremlin to prepare these new units, given the logistics required to supply and train them. The official said many of the Russian troops who will be training conscripts are already “in Ukraine.”

The latest weapons package, which includes weapons and equipment, will take six months to two years to deliver, the first defense official said, and requires defense contractors to restart or ramp up manufacturing.

Ukraine will also receive 150 additional armored Humvees, which will allow troops to transport infantry during offensive operations and maneuver on the battlefield, and more than 200 vehicles will help them transport heavy equipment, a logistical challenge posed by the supply of large quantities of heavy equipment arms.

The package also includes systems designed to mitigate the Russians’ effective use of weapons, including radars that can detect incoming artillery and drones.

Ukraine war: what you need to know

Newest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the military in his Sept. 9 national address. On the 21st, the move was characterized as an attempt to defend Russia’s sovereignty against the West, which was trying to use Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow us here for live updates.

Fight: A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent days has forced Russia into a massive retreat in the northeastern region of Kharkiv as troops fled the cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned vast quantities of military equipment.

Merger referendum: The staged referendum, which is illegal under international law, will begin on September 1. According to the Russian news agency, from the 23rd to the 27th local time, the separate regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. The Moscow-appointed government will start another staged referendum in Kherson on Friday.

photo: Photographers for The Washington Post have been on the ground since the war began — some of their most influential work.

How you can help: Here’s how Americans can help support the people of Ukraine, and people around the world have been giving.

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