The nearly $3 billion package is one of the largest packages of military equipment sent from the Pentagon to Ukraine since the war began. It comes as Ukraine prepares for serious fighting as the weather warms in the spring.
Biden confirmed the new commitment in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholes on Thursday. Germany will also send new combat vehicles to Ukraine along with a Patriot missile battery to defend against Russian airstrikes.
The new security package comes as Russia steps up its attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited the White House last month, has asked for more help from the West to defend against Russian aggression. He said the support was not “charity” but “an investment in global security and democracy”.
The Bradley fighting vehicle, moving on tracks rather than wheels, can hold about 10 troops and is used to transport personnel in battle.
Germany will provide Marter infantry fighting vehicles — heavily armed armored vehicles used to move soldiers around the battlefield — and an additional Patriot air defense battery, German Ambassador to the United States Emily Haber said Thursday. The Marder is an infantry fighting vehicle used by the German Army since the early 1970s, but has been continuously upgraded. The military is in the process of phasing it out, but hundreds are still in service.
The White House said the US and Germany would train Ukrainian forces on their respective vehicles delivered to Kyiv.
During Zelensky’s visit to the White House last month, Biden announced that the United States would provide Ukraine with a Patriot missile system, along with the necessary training. This is the first time it has been committed to Ukraine.
Those systems were at the top of Zelensky’s wish list because they would allow his military to fly Russian missiles at higher altitudes than they had previously targeted.
The United States has supplied Ukraine with other armored vehicles in the past, including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and armored utility vehicles. The US also paid to refurbish Soviet-era T-72 tanks.
At this time, the U.S. is not ready to send M-1 Abrams tanks, despite Ukrainian requests, two defense officials said.
In their phone call, Biden and Scholz “expressed a common commitment to continue to provide necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine as long as it needs it,” a joint statement read.
This story has been updated with additional details.