U.S. Sends More HARM Air Defense Killing Missiles To Ukraine

An AGM-88 missile is fired by a Ukrainian MiG-29.

Credit: Ukrainian Air Force

The Pentagon’s newest batch of aid for Ukraine includes additional missiles for Ukrainian aircraft to target Russian surface-to-air missile systems. 

The Defense Department on March 20 announced the latest $350 million batch of aid, made up of equipment authorized by Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). It notably includes an undisclosed number of Raytheon AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM). The announcement came as Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Moscow to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Other equipment in the latest batch includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 155-mm artillery rounds, mortars, anti-armor weapons, grenade launchers, demolition munitions, thermal imagery systems, patrol boats and additional equipment. It is the 34th drawdown of U.S. equipment since August 2021.

The Pentagon first announced it was sending HARMs to Ukraine in August 2022, and U.S. officials say contractors took about two months to integrate the missiles onto Ukrainian MiG-29s and Su-27s. 

U.S. military services are using a modernized missile, the Northrop Grumman Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER). U.S. Air Force budget documents obtained by Aviation Week show the service plans to buy 14 of the missiles in fiscal 2024 and notes a procurement of 57 additional weapons is pending approval to replenish munitions sent under PDA. This would bring the service’s total AARGM-ER inventory to 357.

The service plans to spend at least $283.2 million in 2024 for the AARGM-ER’s successor, the Stand-in Attack Weapon.

Brian Everstine

Brian Everstine is the Pentagon Editor for Aviation Week, based in Washington, D.C. Before joining Aviation Week in August 2021, he covered the Pentagon for Air Force Magazine. Brian began covering defense aviation in 2011 as a reporter for Military Times.