The US is planning to send Ukraine a cluster munitions package to help in its counteroffensive against Russia, US media reports.
Ukraine has been asking for the weapons for months amid an ammunition shortage.
Cluster munitions – which are banned by more than 100 countries – are a class of weapons that contain multiple explosive bomblets called submunitions.
The Biden administration is expected to announce the package on Friday, the BBC’s US partner CBS News reports.
US officials had reportedly been hesitant to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions as they can kill indiscriminately over a wide area, threatening civilians. The US has a stockpile of these cluster bombs, which were first developed during World War II.
The munitions are controversial because of their high failure rates, meaning unexploded bomblets can linger on the ground for years and possibly detonate later on.
US law prohibits the transfer of cluster munitions with bomblet failure rates higher than 1% – meaning more than 1% of the bomblets in the weapon do not explode – but President Joe Biden is able to bypass this rule.
Defence Department officials told reporters on Thursday the Biden administration was considering sending cluster munitions with a failure rate lower than 2.35%.
The Pentagon noted that Russia has already been using cluster bombs in Ukraine with even higher failure rates. A United Nations investigation found Ukraine has likely used them as well, though the country has denied doing so.