NATO’s latest summit was almost wholly focused on continued support for the Ukrainian war effort, with several key western nations stepping up their contributions. The White House preceded the meeting with the announcement of a new $800 million security assistance package for Ukraine, including controversial cluster munitions for the first time. France and Germany also stated that they’d soon initiate hundreds of millions of dollars in new arms shipments to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s ongoing southern offensive has recently stalled and seen attrition rates spike, but that appears to have had little negative impact on its western allies willingness to bolster the war effort. President Biden even doubled down on previous statements of support, noting that “Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken”.
Related ETF: SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) 2023 Vilnius summit wrapped up on Wednesday, having focused almost totally on the Russo-Ukrainian war and the bloc’s continued material support for Ukraine’s armed forces. In a likely bid to set the tone for the meeting, which would be attended by a Ukrainian delegation including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the US announced a new package of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and other equipment for the Ukrainian war effort, valued at $800 million. That expenditure pushes the US’s commitment of security assistance for Ukraine to more than $41.3 billion since the beginning of Russia’s formal invasion in February 2022. It will also lean on a 42nd drawdown of equipment from DOD inventories since August 2021, putting greater pressure on the Pentagon to increase procurement of replacement equipment from American defense contractors.
The latest delivery will include additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and small arms, Javelin anti-armor rockets, Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), as well as 155mm Howitzers and equivalent artillery rounds, including Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) – also known as a type of cluster munitions. Cluster munitions are a type of shell that disperses many smaller munitions in different directions from a single casing. The Drive notes that DPICM are technically referred to as a “grenade” by the US military and the “dual purpose” portion of the title refers to the fact that they are supposed to be at least somewhat effective against both armored targets and softer targets like unarmored vehicles and troops.
On the European front, Germany and France provided assurances of new arms deliveries to Ukraine at the early stages of the NATO summit.
For its part, Germany announced the shipment of $769 million in new security aid, covering air defense equipment, infantry fighting vehicles, main battle tanks and artillery ammunition. More specifically, Europe’s largest economy will send German-owned Patriot air defense launchers, Marder IFVs, Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks (a notable step down from the Leopard 2 tanks provided previously), and 20,000 rounds of artillery. It was reported by Reuters several weeks ago that…
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