Ukraine Drawdowns Top 200 Million Rounds of Small Arms Ammo

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced the latest security assistance package for Ukraine provided by the Biden Administration, including a lot more small arms ammunition, which is everything short of 12.7mm (.50 cal).

The latest package, valued at up to $300 million, marks the 37th White House-authorized drawdown from the Department of Defense’s equipment stockpiled for Ukraine since August 2021. Besides additional 155mm tube artillery and shells, assorted anti-armor weapon systems, HIMARS rockets, TOW missiles and mortar rounds, the latest transfer also transfers more “small arms and small arms ammunition” to Ukraine. 

With a total of over $36.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, a fact sheet provided by the Pentagon this week puts the running tally of small arms ammunition at “over” 200 million rounds. This is up from the 150 million rounds listed in a similar tally made public just six weeks ago. 

DOD officials in late November listed the cumulative amount of small arms ammo drawdown for Ukraine as 104 million rounds, a figure that has seemingly doubled in the past six months. 

Besides lots of 7.62 NATO for M240s transferred with light armored vehicles, Ukrainian regulars have increasingly been spotted with 5.56-caliber M4A1 Carbines and M16A4 rifles, complete with Trijicon ACOG optics and M203 40mm under-barrel grenade launchers, so you can bet a lot of the recently transferred stockpiles will be 5.56.

Soldiers of the Ukrainian Army’s 47th OMBr (separate mechanized brigade) “Magura” train with M16A4 rifles. The newly created unit is armed with much U.S.-supplied equipment including repainted M2A2 Bradley vehicles. (Photo: Ukraine Ministry of Defense)

In related news, with over 10,000 Javelin systems transferred to Ukraine, a figure that represents something like 13 years of standard production, this contract just hit DOD’s list yesterday (emphasis mine):

Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV, Tucson, Arizona, was awarded a $1,024,355,817 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for the Javelin Weapon System and associated support equipment. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-23-D-0014). (Awarded May 3, 2023)

The ceiling on the Javelin contract, running through 2027, is actually $7.2B, with a B, or almost the cost of five new Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

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