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Boris Johnson wants heavier weapons for Ukraine — Analysis

The US and UK say MLRS rocket systems could turn the tide for Ukraine, but Johnson admits that Russia is making “palpable” progress

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Friday for Ukraine’s Western allies to send MLRS rocket artillery systems in a bid to hold back Russian advances. However, this would signal a massive escalation in Ukraine’s arms supply. The US has already begun to consider such a step.

Johnson stated that Bloomberg would be using the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System platform (MLRS). “enable [the Ukrainians] to defend themselves against this very brutal Russian artillery, and that’s where the world needs to go.” 

“It’s absolutely vital we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily,”Johnson said. Johnson did not mention whether any of the 42 UK MLRS systems would be transferred to Kiev.

In the late 1970s the M270 rocket can be fired from the backside of any tracked vehicle. The missile is jointly developed by Israel, West Germany (West Germany), France, and Israel. Some 1,300 units have been built since 1980, with the vast majority fielded by the US and the rest used by Washington’s NATO allies and some countries in the Middle East and Asia.

Ukrainian officials pleadedFor the M270 and M142 HIMARS systems, the West has the M270. The US made M142 HIMARS is a lighter version of M270. It can launch six rockets simultaneously or one missile at a range up to 190miles (300km).

CNN reports that both M270 platforms and M142 platforms may be delivered by the Biden administration to Ukraine next week. This was according to government officials. However, US officials told CNN and Reuters that Washington was concerned about Ukraine using the M142’s longer-range projectiles to strike targets inside Russia, which would carry a “risk of escalation.”

This could make it difficult for these vehicles to be brought into Ukraine with their ammunition. Russia declared Western weapons convoys and storage facilities. “legitimate targets,”This unit regularly conducts air and missile strikes against weapons stocks in Ukraine.

Ukraine admits major defeat

The MLRS and HIMARS systems are the latest weapons touted by the West as potential “game changers” for Ukraine. Starstreak, Switchblade kamikaze helicopters, and shoulder-fired missiles NLAW, NLAW, and Switchblade kamikaze. anti-air missiles and Turkish-made Bayraktar UAVs have all been touted as wonder weapons, but have thus far failed to turn the tide of battle against Moscow’s forces.

Since the surrender of the last Ukrainian forces in Mariupol earlier this month, Russian troops and soldiers from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have captured the key towns of Popasnaya and Liman in northern Donbass and closed in on Slavyansk. Russian troops have been positioned within close proximity to Bakhmut, a major source of supplies, as fighting continues in the Severodonetsk/Lisichansk salient.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Johnson claimed that Russia’s military progress in the Donbass was “slow,”However, he acknowledged that it was “I’m afraid, palpable.” 

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told Kiev’s foreign backers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the situation in the Donbass was  “extremely bad,” and would get worse if Kiev didn’t get MLRS units ASAP.

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