Ukraine lacks US support to make weapons operable – WaPo — Analysis

The Pentagon has reportedly failed to provide the “wartime customer service” needed for Javelin missiles given to Kiev

The Pentagon is failing to supply training materials and spare parts to help Ukrainian combatants use the weapons provided by Washington in order to defeat Russian forces.

A lack of it is what causes the breakdown. “wartime customer service,”According to the newspaper, interviews with Ukrainian commanders, as well Western volunteer fighters, these are the kinds of support US troops use to make their weapons work. The Post gave the example of Javelin missile launchers that couldn’t be used because of failed electrical components and poor translation of user instructions.

“We’re sending equipment,”Mark Hayward (a US Army Veteran) spoke on behalf of volunteers. “But we have decided not to do tech support?”

US to run out of Javelin missiles for Ukraine – Bloomberg

The Pentagon has sent more than 5,000 Javelin missiles to Kiev as part of Washington’s $54-billion Ukraine aid program. According to the US defense budget for 2021, the armor-busting projectiles were priced at $78,000 per piece, while the launchers that fire from the shoulders cost $178,000.

Defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Raytheon created the system. It is expensive but it’s also very complicated. The manual is 258 pages long. The missiles lock on to a target’s thermal image and are guided by computer. Their range is 2,500 meters.

Hayward claimed that Javelins were sent to Ukraine without instruction cards. These instructions direct users to contact a toll-free phone number for assistance with malfunctions and repairs. US troops have access to such a call center for troubleshooting with their weapons, he added, saying it was unacceptable that President Joe Biden’s administration hasn’t provided such support to Ukrainian fighters.

Captured Ukrainian officer labels American Javelins ‘useless’

The US-supplied Javelins are a vital tool for Ukrainian forces’ arsenal since Russia’s February military attack against the ex-Soviet republic. According to the Post, missiles are actually being used in Ukraine. “have come to symbolize US involvement in Ukraine and the race to equip its army for the devastating fight that has unfolded.”

But, aside from missing troubleshooting guides, Javelin shipments of Javelin to Ukraine did not have computer-based training materials like the US Army. “considers fundamental to its training curriculum for the system,”According to the Post, Another US Army veteran who is training troops in Ukraine, Bradley Crawford, told the outlet that since his cohort had requested the computer-based program more than a month ago, he hasn’t seen any indication that the kits were delivered.

The issue of logistical support came up in a US Senate hearing last month, when Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted that Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency had requested more training materials. When asked if sufficient materials had been delivered to Kiev by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, he said that the issue had not come up during his meetings with Ukrainian officials. The Pentagon later informed Murkowski’s office that Ukrainian defense officials had confirmed that they had no need for additional training systems, the Post said.

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A Ukrainian military officer told the newspaper that his unit had asked for the computer-based programs in late April, a week before Austin’s Senate testimony. The materials still haven’t arrived, he said, and  Ukrainian troops are getting less than two days of training on the system. The US Army’s Javelin training course lasts for two weeks, or 80 hours.

“Training is crucial,”The Post was informed by an unidentified officer. “We need to be able to shoot 100% of the targets. We don’t have enough Javelins to just get rid of one and pick up another.”

Hayward claimed that only a few batteries were available to the Ukrainians for their Javelin launchers. Each battery lasts only four hours on a charge, or less when they’re being fired. Ukrainian forces therefore lock away the batteries for use in combat, so they aren’t available for training. Murkowski heard from a US Army Veteran about how motorbike batteries, ducttape and wiring were used to prevent the launchers being shut down during training.

Pentagon plans for Ukrainian troop training

“There has got to be a better way,”Murkowski spoke. “We can’t send them this sophisticated weaponry and not give them the appropriate resources for training.”



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