Since 2014, the US has given Ukraine tens of billions of dollars in security aid. Washington has given Ukraine both humanitarian aid and advanced military equipment. This includes MLRS rockets, HIMARS launchers, FGM-148 man-portable Javelins, and other anti-tank missiles, Stinger missiles, M777 155mm artillery shells, non-aircraft systems Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost manned aircraft (UAS), M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs), and Harpoon missiles.
In fact, so much weaponry has been shipped that it is feared the US military will be in short supply, so Ukraine is likely to receive older TOW missiles and 105mm howitzers and ammunition in the future.
Despite the aid, Kyiv has pushed for more weapons, which it has stressed are necessary for victory.The United States will never provide Ukraine with nuclear weapons, large warships, B-52 bombers, or F-35 fighters. However, there are also some systems that Ukraine would like but probably won’t get.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The F-16 Fighting Falcon, the world’s most numerous fixed-wing fighter aircraft, is one of the most successful all-weather multi-role jet aircraft ever made. Some 26 countries’ air forces use it now, but you won’t see it in Ukrainian skies any time soon.
There is concern that putting the aircraft in the area could anger Russia and even bring NATO into the fight. There is also concern that Ukrainian pilots are not trained to fly it and that Kyiv won’t be able to keep it running. Instead, those plans are likely to be sent by NATO states that once flew the MiG-29, which Ukraine already operates.
Main battle tank M1 Abrams
The main battle tank (MBT) of the United States Army would be an effective weapon for Ukraine, as it was able to compete effectively with the Soviet-designated T-72 in the Gulf War and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Although there has been talk of sending the tanks to Ukraine, this is another case where a weapon presents more problems than opportunities.
Ukrainians would have to be trained to use it, and keeping it running would be a problem. Sending M1 Abrams is currently considered unlikely by the Biden administration since Russia would view it as a provocation.
army tactical missile systems
The US military’s HIMARS has been instrumental in recent Ukrainian offensives, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for weapons with a much longer range, notably the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which would give Ukraine the ability to attack Russian targets from a distance of up to 180 miles (300 kilometers).
While it employs the same launchers as the HIMARS, its range is triple that of its predecessor. This could allow Kyiv forces to strike targets in Russia and explains why Washington remains cautious about escalation.