The effort, led by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley, builds on billions of dollars in military aid provided by the United States to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February.
The process is in its early stages, and a senior defense official said he was looking at “the future of the Ukrainian military”, aiming to answer the key question “what makes sense?” And “What do you want Ukraine to start doing in the medium to long term?” As with the current conflict, which is expected to be protracted, the United States is looking at her at least five years after the end of the war.
“What do you want to imagine in Ukraine, what will their future power be like, if they want to be a task force and they want to have these defensive and offensive capabilities, what makes sense? Does that look right??” an official told CNN.
The analysis is being conducted in partnership with Ukrainians and, if approved by President Joe Biden, could lead to years of arms sales and the establishment of a long-term military training program by the United States. It will be presented to Kyiv as an assessment, but it will provide a clear roadmap for how the United States thinks its military should develop.
The analysis is expected to be finalized “within the next month or two,” the senior defense official said, stressing that Ukraine’s views will be central to any eventual effort. “What is their strategy, what do they want?” they added. This effort will continue to evolve over the coming months as the battlefield changes and Ukrainian forces advance.
Initial efforts could lead to recommendations on weapons and training, depending on the military strategy approved by Ukraine. It will ultimately extend US and allied engagement in Ukraine for years to come through long-term, multi-year arms deals that may be finalized first before Biden’s first term ends. It may be extended.
“I will protect Ukraine for many years to come.”
Discussing aid to Ukraine last month, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy, Colin Carl, said, “Many of these capabilities are not intended to directly contribute to today’s fight, but they do. It will form the backbone of a strong future Ukrainian army that will be able to serve Ukraine for years to come.”
U.S. assessments and initial plans can be discussed when Defense Secretary Milie and Lloyd Austin meet with their allied counterparts in Germany on Thursday.
The analysis also includes an initial consideration of Ukraine’s need for a modernized air force of fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft to support its highly maneuverable ground forces, the official said.
While the Ukrainian Air Force, which launches long-range HARM missiles, has had some success, the U.S. wants to make Ukrainian ground forces more mobile, which has proven successful in recent combat operations. are trying to support
The Pentagon has also established a task force aimed at streamlining the process of selling foreign forces, according to two defense officials.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, has created a group to help allies and partners, including Ukraine, claim US military equipment. Ultimately, the effort could streamline the process for Ukraine to purchase advanced American weapons, as the United States and NATO seek to transition Ukraine’s armed forces from Soviet-era equipment to modern Western weaponry. there is.
weapons and hardware
Ukraine currently has about 1,000 drones of various capabilities, according to Pentagon officials. The U.S. and Ukraine are beginning to realize that drones with shorter ranges and fewer explosives may not be as useful as larger drones, senior defense officials said. Therefore, it is expected that his long-awaited contract for 10 Switchblade 600 drones with anti-armor warheads could be issued within a month. A decision may then be made as to whether additional airborne capability is required.
One of Ukraine’s most persistent needs is a continuous supply of 155 mm artillery ammunition.Ukrainians are using it at high rates and the US should replenish its own stockpiles
The Department of Defense issued $364 million in contracts to various U.S. and international suppliers late last month. “This is a big deal,” Undersecretary of Defense Acquisition and Maintenance Officer William LaPlante told CNN. “I can’t say the source, but it’s scattered all over the world.”
The goal is to deliver 100,000 rounds in 90 days and 15,000 rounds in a month thereafter.
Our long-term goal is to deliver over 30,000 rounds per month over the next 2-3 years. Separately, another defense official said a deal was expected from the Army in the coming days to begin replenishing his 155mm ammunition stock in the United States as so much ammunition is being sent to Ukraine. said to be.
Current US production is about 15,000 rounds per month at our Pennsylvania facility, but with additional government funding, we aim to increase production to over 30,000 rounds per month.
The Department of Defense is working fully with industry to increase production rates for both exports to Ukraine and to rebuild the U.S. munitions and launch systems stockpile.
Equipped with surface-to-air missile systems, additional unmanned aerial vehicles, radar, and advanced fuses designed to limit civilian casualties in close combat, since April to ease pressure on U.S. supplies. Several additional production contracts have been issued for high-precision ground-launched rockets.
To replenish U.S. arms stocks from declining stocks sent to Ukraine, the U.S. has issued several important contracts since May. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin spend $352 million to develop the Javelin anti-armor system. $33 million to Lockheed for the HIMARS multiple rocket launcher and $8 million to AeroVironment for the small Switchblade drone. The Pentagon also wants her monthly production of HIMARS to more than double his, to 12 launchers per month.
The United States will also extend its support to existing systems, such as the Boeing Insitu Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle, to allow Ukraine to use them to gather vital electronic battlefield information about Russian targets such as radar and electronic communication systems. We are considering funding a fix.