Special Report

How the US is Arming Ukraine

Source: ziss / iStock via Getty Images

Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles
> Amount: Hundreds

High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or HMMWV, colloquially known as a Humvee, are highly capable vehicles that, when armored, can withstand explosive blasts and small arms fire. Humvees can be outfitted with a wide range of military hardware, including machine guns and rocket launchers, and can be optimized to carry troops or supplies. Humvees are relatively simple to repair and have 16 inches of ground clearance, making them highly capable on a wide variety of terrain.

As part of the White House’s pledge to support Ukraine, the U.S. has pledged to send the besieged county hundreds of Humvees.

Source: mtcurado / iStock via Getty Images

M113 armored personnel carriers
> Amount: 200

The M113 armored personnel carrier is a military vehicle designed to transport troops. The vehicles, which use a continuous track system, can each carry up to 15 armed soldiers while protecting them from small arms fire and the effects of artillery.

The U.S. Army used the M113 widely in the Vietnam War but stopped buying them in 2006, favoring the more powerful M2 Bradley. Despite being effectively obsolete for American forces in the eyes of the Pentagon, the M113 will be an asset in Ukraine, where older Soviet-era personnel carriers are largely in a state of disrepair.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Small arms
> Amount: Over 7,000, and 50 million rounds of ammunition

Along with transport vehicles, artillery, and technologically advanced weapons systems, the U.S. is also providing Ukraine with thousands of small arms for Ukrainian fighters to carry. These include a reported 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns – plus over 50,000,000 rounds of ammunition.

Body armor and helmets
> Amount: 75,000 sets

In addition to weaponry to be deployed on the battlefield, the U.S. has also pledged protective gear for Ukrainian fighters. The U.S. will send a reported 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets to outfit Ukrainian troops and offer some protection from the Russian attack.

Source: Digital Vision. / Getty Images

Phoenix Ghost tactical aerial drone
> Amount: 121

The Department of Defense announced in April 2022 that it would send 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical aerial drones to Ukraine to help stem the Russian invasion. The Phoenix Ghost is a similar weapon to the Switchblade drone, but brand-new, and specifically tailored for situations similar to that faced by Ukranians fighting in the Donbas region.

Little is known about the Phoenix Ghost beyond that it is manufactured by AEVEX Aerospace, a California-based defense contractor, and is described by the Pentagon as a “one-way” drone that will “deliver a punch,” implying they are some sort of kamikaze drones.

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