US Limited HIMARS Rocket Launchers Before Giving to Ukraine: WSJ
- According to The Wall Street Journal: The US modified HIMARS rocket launchers sent to Ukraine by it,
- HIMARS proved to be one the most important weapons in Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
- These changes meant that it could not fire long-range rockets which could reach Russia beyond its borders.
The US secretly modified its HIMARS rocket launchers before sending them to the Ukrainian military, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
According to US officials, the launchers were no longer capable of firing long-range ammunition due to the changes. This includes the US Army Tactical Missile System rockets ATACMS (which have a range of almost 200 miles).
According to the report, the US was concerned about the possibility that Ukraine might acquire long-range projectiles from other countries even if it didn’t give it any ATACMS.
Instead, the launchers use shorter-range munitions that can be used to strike Russian forces on Ukrainian territory but not penetrate Russia.
The US repeatedly stated its reluctance not to give Ukraine weapons if it believes that this could lead to war escalating. This was in response to Ukrainian arguments that they need every tool possible to repel an invasion.
“If Washington decides to supply longer-range missiles to Kyiv, then it will be crossing a red line and will become a direct party to the conflict,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in September, according to Reuters.
The US has supplied Ukraine at least 20 HIMARS launchers since June. It was launched in September. was reportedA new US weapons package worth $1.1 billion would more than double the number of weapons currently in use in the country.
The Ukraine’s high-precision rocket launchers are a vital addition to its arsenal. They allow it to strike distant Russian positions, then move out of the way fast enough for no retaliation.
In November, a defense official said PoliticoSince the start of the conflict, Russia had not destroyed a single HIMARS launcher.
According to the Journal, rockets from HIMARS were used to attack Russian ammunition depots, logistics supplies, and command centers on Ukrainian territory. Russia has given the weapons a fearedful reputation.
According to the publication the Pentagon, White House and Ukrainian Military declined to comment on these modifications.
During this time, lawmakers from both parties of the aisle continue to work. have been pushing the Biden administration to provide Ukraine with a fleet of advanced, MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” dronesThis would significantly increase the military might of the country. Each drone can carry four Hellfire missiles.
Bis now, however, the Biden administration has been reluctant to provide weapons. according to an earlier report by The Wall Street JournalOver fears that sensitive technology could fall into the hands of US adversaries, they voted to cancel.
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