US announces new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, official says

(Reuters) - The United States is preparing a $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, as the U.S. returns to a regular pace of supplying weapons to Kyiv after lawmakers passed a $95 billion bill, the White House said on Friday.

The Ukraine aid package includes artillery, munitions for NASAMS air defenses, anti-tank munitions, armored vehicles and small arms that can immediately be put to use on the battlefield, a U.S. official told Reuters earlier on condition of anonymity.

The weapons aid will utilize Presidential Drawdown Authority, or PDA, which authorizes the president to transfer articles and services from U.S. stocks without specific congressional approval during an emergency. As a part of the $95 billion aid bills, Congress authorized $60.8 billion worth of various forms of aid to Ukraine, including $8 billion worth of PDA items.

The aid announcement came after Russian forces launched an armored ground attack on Friday near Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv in the northeast of the country and made small inroads, opening a new front in a war that has long been waged in the east and south.

As replenishment funds for articles drawn from stocks are deployed, U.S. defense companies would gain more contracts as the Russia-Ukraine war grinds on. The aid package was first reported by Politico.

Experts expect a boost in the order backlog of RTX, along with other major companies that receive government contracts, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, following the passage of the supplemental spending bill.

(Reporting by Mike Stone and Katharine Jackson; Editing by Alex Richardson and Jonathan Oatis)