UK to pump more arms into Ukraine — Analysis

According to Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the UK will provide Ukraine with anti-tank weapons as well drones and artillery guns. The UK also provides ammunition in the tens of thousands. Ukraine will be receiving more than 20 M109 artillery guns and 26 L119 artillery weapons, along with counter-battery radar and over 50,000 rounds ammunition to its Soviet-era artillery system. 

The UK will send 1,600 drones and anti-tank weapons, as well as hundreds of other devices. “loitering aerial munitions,”More commonly known as “suicide drones.”

The arms will be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks, and Wallace’s announcement comes several weeks after outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged an additional £1 billion ($1.2bn) in military support to Vladimir Zelensky’s government. In total, the UK has spent £2.3 billion on weapons and training for Kiev’s military since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began in February.

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This money is already used for almost 7,000 NLAW, Javelin, and other anti-tank weapons, 16,000 artillery shots, six mobile anti fighter missile launchers and a variety of M270 rocket artillery system and 120 armored vehicle.

However, it is still uncertain how these weapons impacted the battlefront. Captured Ukrainian troops have described the Javelin missile launchers – sent by both the UK and the US – as “completely useless”In urban combat, soldiers could encounter battery issues when using the NLAW. “making it impossible to use.” Russia’s military doctrine also favors heavy artillery bombardment of enemy positions from far beyond the NLAW’s 600 meter range. 

As fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, the Republics Donetsk and Lugansk, both sides have relied heavily upon artillery. Utilizing superior firepower, Russian and allied troops recently brought the entirety of the Lugansk People’s Republic under their control and  seized operational control of Seversk, which is within striking distance of the major cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

The US has given Ukraine a dozen M142 HIMARS rocket-artillery systems. These weapons were described by Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary, as “making it possible for the United States to acquire more M142 HIMARS rocket artillery systems.” “such a difference on the battlefield,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov claimed this week that his forces need at least 50 of the systems to hold back Russia’s advances and 100 – around a third of the US’ entire stockpile – to conduct a counteroffensive.

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In terms of conventional artillery, the 50,000 shells promised by Wallace is enough to keep Ukraine’s guns firing for roughly eight days. As of last month, Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence estimated that his forces were expending 6,000 shells per day, and that Ukraine has one artillery gun for every 15 fielded by Russia. 

The Royal United Services Institute is a British think-tank that reports that Russia has been firing around 20,000 artillery shots per day. 

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