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Officials: U.S. preparing $275M weapons package for Ukraine

REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID / 2023
                                155mm artillery shells are packed for shipping at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID / 2023

155mm artillery shells are packed for shipping at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON >> The United States is preparing a $275 million military aid package for Ukraine, which will include 155mm artillery shells, precision aerial munitions and ground vehicles, three U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Moscow’s forces have hammered the northeastern city of Kharkiv for months and launched a ground assault into the north of the surrounding region on May 10, an offensive that Kyiv says has stalled on two lines of attack for now.

The weapons aid, which could be announced as soon as Friday, will utilize the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which authorizes the president to transfer articles and services from U.S. stocks without specific congressional approval during an emergency.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

As a part of the $95 billion aid bills, Congress authorized $60.8 billion worth of various forms of aid to Ukraine, including $8 billion worth of presidential drawdown authority items.

While the package mainly includes munitions, it also includes vehicles that are designed to recover disabled tanks and other heavy equipment from the battlefield, a sign that the U.S. expects attacks and equipment losses to continue.

Military analysts expected a boost in the order backlog of RTX, along with other major companies that receive government contracts, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, following the passage of the supplemental spending bill.

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