By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States said on Thursday it would send hundreds of armored vehicles plus rockets and artillery shells to Ukraine as part of a $2.5 billion military assistance package.
The package includes 59 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 90 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers, 53 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles and 350 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement.
The 59 Bradleys included in the latest U.S. package come after a previous 50 announced earlier in January. The armored Bradley has a powerful gun and has been used by the U.S. Army to carry troops around battlefields since the mid-1980s.
The latest assistance also includes additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), eight Avenger air-defense systems, tens of thousands of artillery rounds and about 2,000 anti-armor rockets, the Defense Department said.
In total, the United States has committed more than $27.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February last year.
Western allies have pledged billions of dollars in weapons for Ukraine. Fearing winter will give Russian forces time to regroup and unleash a major attack, Ukraine is pushing for more assistance to combat Moscow's invasion.
In his trip to Washington in December, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the U.S. Congress that assistance to Ukraine is an investment in democracy, and not charity, while pressing for continued American support.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Diane Craft and Bradley Perrett)