The Pentagon has officially provided information on how much weapons the United States has already supplied and plans to supply to Ukraine. The total cost of the future option alone is estimated at $800 million. At the same time, President Joe Biden signed a decision to provide Kyiv with urgent military assistance for $13.6 billion. The UK also plans to increase its "lend-lease". And the European Union, for the first time in its history, will purchase ammunition and weapons for Ukraine in the amount of 300 million euros.
And on March 21, Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, announced that Ukraine had signed a declaration on shoring up the air defense of Ukraine. Among the signatories are England, USA, Germany, and France.
What will this assistance look like in practice, how will it shore up our armed forces, and how realistic is this plan? The answers to these questions are contained in our special analysis of information taken from open sources. It has been prepared by military columnist Kyrylo Danylchenko.
How the sky will be closed
The United States will provide Ukraine with significant military assistance. Ukraine is promised 400 machine guns, enough to equip 12 battalions. As well as one hundred 40-mm grenade launchers (for 8 battalions), body armor, and helmets for 5 brigades, millions of ammunition, including armor-piercing grenades, shells, and mines. In fact, in this way they equip our reserve corps. And this is essential. But, the main thing that the Armed Forces of Ukraine need is to quickly enhance air defense capabilities.
We cannot afford to spend 3-4 months on training and integrating Western systems. We do not have time for lengthy training of specialists in maintaining missiles, landing gear, etc. It is long, troublesome and expensive. And long is the most critical for us.
Therefore, It is no longer a matter of completely protecting ourselves from missile attacks on the factories of the military-industrial complex, which are being made in order to prevent us from transferring the economy to a war footing. To fully defend against 400 kilogram "cigars" against the barracks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defense in order to slow down mobilization and training processes. Not about the incessant missile attacks on airfields, in order to achieve air supremacy. After all, these are not strategic bombings of the Second World War, but rare pinpoint strikes of half-ton bombs that are survivable. We just need to learn how to disperse personnel, mounts, and machines, encrypt traffic and defend ourselves from intelligence.
Here we need to be realistic: we will not have an advantage in the air in this war. Our pilots will not have enough flying hours, and besides, our aircraft will have to be serviced at small airfields and highways. Under such conditions, retraining for Western aircraft is too long, and the time between sorties is increasing.
Therefore, Western assistance is necessary, first of all, to ensure that enemy strike aircraft, helicopters and attack aircraft on the contact line get as many damage agents as possible from our air defense.
For the same reason, Soviet air defense installations "Osa" and "Strela 10" are coming to us from storage sites in the former Warsaw Pact countries. S-300 PMUs are sent to us that, for example, are in service with Slovakia, Greece, and Bulgaria, plus one division was once bought by the United States to study it.
This is not "soviet junk". This is what we can master in a week and a half, updating the skills of those mobilized. Amidst the full advantage of the Russian Federation in the air, these are vitally needed supplies. Even a couple of dozen of "Osa", a couple dozen of "Strela", and 2-3 S-300 divisions are already a huge help in circumstances when the enemy loses 1-3 aircraft every day and is often forced to fly past the line of contact.
We need to quickly close the losses in heavy SAMs that had confirmed hits in the south. Plus, we need to tighten the defense from Belarus. And in parallel to enhance tactical air defense for 150 territorial defense battalions and the reserve corps.
Fortunately, we have enough missiles for this, and there are enough left in the storage sites in Eastern Europe.
Armament for ground attack
Right now, Ukraine needs to strengthen its ground forces in case Moscow starts playing in mobilization and tries to push through the front with units from Ossetia and "peacekeepers" who are still sitting in Karabakh.
It is necessary that they be met not by troops on school buses with Degtyaryov machine guns, but by units armed with anti-tank weapons and mortars, well covered from the air. To switch any offensive of the Kremlin regime into a positional phase. To force the Russians to fight not in maneuverable battles, where they have a higher resource of equipment and more tanks, but to force them to gnaw through minefields under the fire of our traditionally strong artillery — not in vain that since the Soviet era we have had three specialized military academies.
Of course, now this is about Stinger installations. We have already officially got 600 complexes, and another 800 are coming to us from the USA. And if we take into account the 500 installations that Germany handed over to us, another 300 came from the Baltic countries and the Netherlands, then our army today is one of the richest with Stinger MANPADS on the planet.
Modernized Stingers work well against heat traps and can be launched from vehicles. They will force aircraft to stay above the ceiling of 4,000 m, which will reduce the effectiveness of iron strikes.
In tandem with the Polish "Pioruns" and "Groms" and thousands of MANPADS from storage sites in Ukraine and the former Warsaw Pact countries, we can provide launches on enemy strike aircraft and helicopters literally from under every bush. This is already noticeable now: Russian Ka-52s fire unguided missiles from a great height. And our cities on the Dnipro, Poltava, Mykolaiv, and Odesa are minimally bombarded.
In this whole story, the main thing is that we are supplied with weapons that the West is historically reluctant to provide: heavy air defense systems, MANPADS, and tactical air defense — something that easily flees and that can cause heavy damage to civil aviation. Most of all, Western countries fear that all these weapons could end up in the Middle East.
What will happen next
It will get easier from there — there might be supplies of T-64 and T-72 tanks from the Warsaw Pact countries. Cannon artillery and MLRS, armored vehicles, ammunition, including charges for Grad and Hurricanes.
If the assistance for air defense was unseal, everything would be supplied, it has always been like this in all wars.
Now London is handing over 3,600 NLAW installations to us, and Washington — 6,000 AT-4s. This will not only restore the stock used in the first weeks of the war, but also increase our stock of anti-tank equipment. As soon as there is "green" (the trees and the ground will be covered with green—), the Russian bridgehead, supplied through the swamps and the Chernobyl zone near Kyiv, will suffer severely not only from the arrivals of artillery, but also from the actions of light infantry.
In addition, the British will give us an undisclosed number of Javelins, while the US wants to increase their number in Ukraine to 4,600. If this is the E modification — we will be able to hammer the tank day and night beyond their ability to shoot at us.
A huge number of 3-generation missiles awaits the Russians — from the trunk of a civilian car, from a pack on their backs, from HMMWVs that will also be given.
Such a number of MANPADS and anti-tank missiles of the 3rd generation always qualitatively changes the situation on the battlefield.
What the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be like
And finally, it is worth mentioning the latest kamikaze drones — Switchblade — not so long ago introduced into service by the US SOF. We will be given 100, in fact, flying bombs — small ones with a warhead of 2.5 kg and an impressive 54 kg. If we manage to quickly master them, then videos a la Karabakh will appear on the Internet, when they striked at individual vehicles, headquarters, shelter, and radar stations. The war of the future, as it is.
In terms of ATGMs, MANPADSm and attack drones, we are already technologically superior to the enemy. Now, in the nearest future, it is necessary to retrain the crews for modern heavy Western air defense systems, purchase high-precision delivery vehicles for missiles and cannon artillery, and arm the reserve corps, the National Guard, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the territorial defense units with modern heavy weapons. And then we'll get half a million bayonets. Sounds like a good plan for the near future.