The Pentagon is on the hunt for new weapons it can quickly get into Ukrainian hands
Anti-tank weapons and air defense missiles top the list
Ukraine needs weapons. They are fighting off an invasion where there have been troops stacking up in elevators and tanks getting their turrets blown off for almost two months now. This might explain why it appears to be open season on contracting arms and equipment to send to the conflict.
An order request posted to the U.S. government’s contracting database states that the Defense Department is “exploring options which would accelerate production and build more capacity across the industrial base” for shipping arms and equipment that can be rapidly employed with limited training to Ukraine. The posting is focused on air defense, coastal defense, anti-tank, anti-personnel, and counter-battery equipment — components in a war being fought with modern equipment, but one that is also static and involves fixed lines and even trench warfare.
Coupled with news reports from the conflict, the requirements laid out in the posting indicate that certain items, like anti-tank missiles, air-defense rockets, and unmanned aerial vehicles, are in high demand.
As of March 7, the U.S. had already sent more than 17,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, which have been put to use by local forces. And recently the U.S. military aid to Ukraine has included artillery and ammunition, according to BBC. The aid is part of hundreds of millions of dollars in military equipment being sent to the battlefield in Ukraine, from artillery to Stinger missiles, Javelin anti-tank weapons, to the tiny drones that have been striking Russian military vehicles.
With regards to Javelins and Stinger missiles, which are referred to as “fire and forget” weapons, Marine Col. James W. Frey told Task & Purpose in March, “You can be exposed just for a brief time; you shoot the weapon, it’s going to have a signature; but then you can move as the weapon is in flight.”
The order request comes more than a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. Russia has reportedly shifted from an assault on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to concentrating in the eastern portion of the country.
Perhaps the first war documented on Tik Tok, it has been awash in information and disinformation alike. From Snake Island to the Ghost of Kyiv to the countless videos of Ukrainian tractors dragging off captured Russian equipment, it has been hard to parse what is happening and what is just on social media.
The listing, which runs until May 6, appears to be another indicator that the fight will continue.
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