This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (March 24)

Ammunition production concerns are being raised on both sides of the conflict. – Pixabay/Republica

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Eighteen EU states signed on to the European Defence Agency (EDA) project to collaborate on the procurement of ammunition to aid Ukraine and replenish national stockpiles. The project focuses on  a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types.

The U.S. announced a $350 million security assistance package for Ukraine on March 20 that includes HIMARS ammunition, artillery and mortar rounds, High-Speed Anti-Radiation  Missiles (HARMs), AT-4 anti-armor weapons, riverine patrol boats, and other equipment.

Slovakia announced it will donate 13 secondhand MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. The aircraft are currently out-of-commission and need to be serviced before they can fly.

The U.S. will accelerate delivery of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The plan originally called for sending 31 M1A2 tanks that could have taken a year or two to deliver. Instead, older M1A1 variants will be taken from Army stocks for delivery as soon as this fall. Separately, the U.S. said it will also accelerate delivery of Patriot missile defense systems.

The International Monetary Fund reached an agreement to provide Ukraine with a $15.6 billion loan, representing the organization’s first loan to a country at war. The funds are intended to help provide economic stability.

Russian forces continue to make slow gains in their assault on Bakhmut. Ukraine officials say both sides are suffering heavy losses, but they claim Russia has lost more soldiers in the battle. Both sides are also running low on ammunition. Ukraine initially said Bakhmut was not strategically important, but that stance has changed.  To break the defending Ukrainian troops, Russia is using an increasing number of Kh-555 cruise missiles to strike targets in and around the city.

Ukrainian soldiers have completed training in the operation of the SAMP/T air defense system.  The training took place in Sabaudia, in the province of Latina to the south of Rome.

The U.S. Air Force is flying reconnaissance missions over the Black Sea region using its RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned air vehicle (UAV).  Recently, a Russian fighter collided with a U.S.-operated MQ-9 Reaper UAV on a mission over the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military will receive additional AGM-88 HARMs as part of a new air package from the United States.  Contractors took about two months to integrate the HARMs onto Ukraine’s MiG-29 and Su-27 combat aircraft.

The Ukrainian military will receive Patriot air defense systems from the U.S. within weeks, not months.  Sixty-five Ukrainian soldiers are training to use this surface-to-air missile (SAM) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Ukrainian troops have used the Crotale NG air defense missile system to down Russian cruise missiles.  Two missiles were fired by the Crotale SAMs to intercept a Russian cruise missile.

Three Ukrainian unmanned surface vessels (USVs) attempted to strike Russian naval assets in Sevastopol.  Russian forces reportedly destroyed all these USVs before they could hit their targets.

Ukraine has submitted another request to Israel for delivery of air defense systems.  The Ukrainian government is requesting various systems, including the Iron Dome and Arrow.  Israel said it is unable to meet the demands for missile defense systems.

Russia continues its missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure.  Two Kh-59 strike missiles were intercepted over Odesa Oblast and 10 Su-35 fighters attacked Sumy Oblast using air-launched guided munitions.

The factory that manufactures the engines for Russian missile launch vehicles is on fire.  The fire is at the Yaroslavl Motor Plant.  The cause of the fire is unknown.





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