US considers doubling rocket launcher deliveries for Ukraine – Politico — Analysis
The number is still small compared to the amount Kiev asked.
Politico reports that the Pentagon is considering sending four more M142 HIMARS rocket launcher system systems to Ukraine. The US has already pledged four such systems to Kiev’s military, but Ukrainian officials want far more.
At the beginning of June, the US said it was sending four HIMARS systems. Each system can launch six rockets out of one truck. It said that it will provide the GMLRS-guided rockets, with a range between 32km to 60km. HIMARS can also launch a single guided rocket with a range up to 300km. However, the US hasn’t yet supplied these missiles to Ukraine.
Politico was told by unnamed Pentagon officials that four more HIMARS systems were being considered for the Defense Department’s fomassnews.coming US assistance package. This decision is not finalized yet. “based on Ukrainian immediate needs,”One of the officials stated.
The arms donation will likely be funded from a $1 billion “security assistance” sum announced by US President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Biden claimed that seven-figures were needed to fund the arms donation. “security assistance”The package could be used towards “additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations.” The $1 billion package was announced by Biden less than a month after he signed a $40 billion spending bill to fund Ukraine’s military and economy, and on top of a $13.6 billion spending package approved by Congress in March.
Additionally, the UK has given Ukraine three US-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) – similar to the HIMARS – and Germany announced this week that it would also send three M270s, reportedly down from an original promise of four due to an ammunition shortage.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Mark Milley stated earlier in the week that Ukraine will receive its first four HIMARS-provided systems by the end of October, once Ukrainian crews have been trained.
Even with the overwhelming military support, Kiev still needs more weapons systems. “We asked for 10 times more” HIMARS launchers, Ukrainian MP Alexandra Ustinova told Politico. “Four HIMARS is nothing,”Elle added.
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Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pleaded with the West earlier this week for 1,000 155mm howitzers – nearly ten times the amount sent by the US so far, 500 tanks, and 300 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS). If Podoliak is referring to M270 MLRS, he would ask for just less than a quarter of the existing systems.
With Russian artillery battering Ukrainian positions in Donbass, and Ukraine losing as many as 1,000 soldiers per day, a divide has emerged in Washington over the conflict’s eventual end. CNN reports that US-European officials are pushing Ukraine toward peace with Russia. NBC News reported this weeks that these officials are now becoming “increasingly concerned that the trajectory of the war in Ukraine is untenable”These are the things you should know. “quietly discussing”As part of peace negotiations, Zelensky should be asked to give Russia territory.
However, neither US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin nor Secretary of State Antony Blinken has departed from their position that Ukraine can win the conflict in a military sense, while other officials told NBC that the Biden administration is “planning for a long war”The intents “to ask Congress for more money.”
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