Colin Kahl, the assistant defense secretary for policy, said at a news conference the US sent “a number” of the missiles, without specifying how many the US provided or when they were sent. Kahl did not explicitly state what type of anti-radiation missile was being sent.
A defense official told CNN the type of missile sent was the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
The Raytheon-produced HARMs have a range of over 30 miles, according to the US Air Force, making them one of the long-range weapons that the US has provided to Ukraine. The missiles can be used to attack Russian anti-aircraft radar systems like the S-400, which have made it very difficult for the Ukrainian Air Force to operate over large swaths of Ukrainian airspace. The missiles can also target Russian counter-battery radars that Russia uses to attack Ukrainian artillery.
Kahl said the missiles “were sent over recently [Presidential Drawdown Authority] Packages”, but the five most recent packages as of July 1st do not mention HARMs.
“In the short term, we have done many things to keep Ukraine’s existing air force in the air and make it more efficient,” Kahl said.
He pointed to the spare parts for Mig-29s that the US helped send to Ukraine to keep Soviet-era fighter jets flying. Kahl then mentioned the missiles, saying they “could have an impact on Russian radars and other things”.
Ukrainians have not publicly acknowledged receiving or using HARMs.
In recent days, open source reports have shown the remains of what appears to be a fin from a HARM missile aimed at a Russian position in Ukraine.
Kahl announced the missiles in a briefing on the Pentagon’s latest $1 billion arms package for Ukraine, the largest U.S. arms package to date.
The package focused on supplying ammunition for some of the key weapon systems that the US has sent to Ukraine. These include the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which the Ukrainian military has used effectively to attack Russian command posts, ammunition depots and more, as well as the M777 howitzers, which have been a crucial part of combat in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
Russia, said Kahl, has suffered around 70,000 to 80,000 war casualties in the conflict so far, including dead and wounded.
“That number might be a little lower, a little higher, but I think that’s around the stadium,” he said. He added that Russia lost between 3,000 and 4,000 armored vehicles.
With this latest package, the US has committed to sending a total of $9.1 billion in security aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in late February.
CNN’s Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.