Source: Billy M | NwoReport
The United States will be sending Ukraine over 120 Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems, a small, recently developed drone that will require some training.
President Joe Biden declared another $800 million in military assistance Thursday, getting the total U.S. aid to Ukraine since Russia attacked to about $3.4 billion. A readout from the Pentagon announced that the U.S. would provide 121 of the drones, in addition to 72 155 mm howitzers and 72 tactical vehicles to tow those weapons.
Today, I am announcing another $800 million to further augment Ukraine’s ability to fight in the East.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 21, 2022
This package will include heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with them. It also includes more tactical drones.
The drones, which the Air Force started developing before Russia’s attack, are “designed for tactical operations — in other words, largely, but not exclusively, to attack targets,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced Thursday. “It, like almost all unmanned aerial systems, of course, has optics. So it can still — it can also be used to give you a sight picture of what’s seen, of course, but its principal focus is attack.”
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They were “developed for a set of requirements that very closely match what the Ukrainians need right now,” he explained, and they “will require a little bit of training,” Kirby continued.
The Ghost drones are similar to switchblade drones, which the U.S. has already delivered to Ukraine in previous military packages and trained them on.
U.S. drone startups are rushing to supply drones to Ukraine for reconnaissance and intel gathering after the country sounded the alarm on China-based market leader DJI https://t.co/qScsXXuD5i— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 22, 2022
Approximately 50 Ukrainian forces are now outside the nation receiving training on the howitzers.
“The training of some small number of Ukrainians on the howitzers has begun,” a senior U.S. defense official explained to reporters Wednesday. “It has begun in the country outside Ukraine. I am not going to tell you — be able to detail where this is happening, but it has happened. And we expect the training to last for about a week. And this is training the trainers. It’s a smallish number of Ukrainians, a little bit more than 50.”
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Kirby affirmed Thursday that training on the howitzers has begun, though not yet for the Ghost drones.
Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is now concentrated in the Donbas region in the east and the city of Mariupol, a southeastern port city along the coast of the Sea of Azov. If they’re able to capture Mariupol, which they’ve already surrounded, Russian troops will have a land bridge connecting Crimea, which they annexed in 2014, and the Donbas region in the eastern area of Ukraine, which is where their military
operation is presently focused.
U.S. sends Ukraine new Phoenix Ghost drones, howitzers for Donbas battle against Russia https://t.co/0NFXRvB0Q5— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 22, 2022
The terrain in the Donbas is flat and has affected the choice of weapons the U.S. has decided to provide.
“We expect in the Donbas — because of the terrain, because it’s open, because it’s flat, because it’s not as urban — we can expect the Russians to rely on long-range fire, artillery in particular,” Kirby went on, explaining that the Pentagon saw Russian troops moving in artillery units before traditional infantry units.