US may send heavier artillery to Ukraine – media
A decision on rocket systems touted as ‘a gamechanger’ for Kiev could be made as soon as next week
Multiple sources told CNN that Biden’s administration might announce an increase in arms supply to Ukraine by next week. They could even allow deliveries of MLRS long-range rocket launchers and HIMARS multi-purpose rocket launchers.
Two versions of US-made rocket rocket artillery systems are available: the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, (MLRS), and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System(HIMARS). Both can fire almost the same type of rockets.
They can reach up to 500km depending upon the projectile they are fired from. However, the less expensive munitions fire at 32 to 70km. The main difference between the MLRS and the HIMARS mounted on wheels is the fact that it is a more heavy-duty tracked system. It can carry twice as many rockets than the HIMARS.
Ukrainian officials list both these systems in their wishlist for weapons the US and allies should donate to them against Russia. While Kiev does have multiple rocket launchers capable of firing Soviet Grad or Uragan missiles, it claims that the American systems are more effective on the battlefield.
CNN sources claim that the Biden administration was reluctant to provide rocket artillery because it was concerned about the possibility of Kiev using the system to attack Russian targets. In the last few weeks, Russian territory has been the target of numerous helicopter attacks and shellings. Moscow blamed the Ukrainians.
Washington officials are reportedly worried that Moscow might perceive US delivery of the MLRS/HIMARS, which have the potential to launch tactical ballistic missiles and fire them, as a provocation. There are also concerns that the weapon systems would have to come from the US’ own inventory, which is limited, CNN sources said.
According to one source, Pentagon officials met with Lockheed Martin CEO in order to talk about the possibility of increasing production of the MLRS. According to the report, although the UK considered providing the rocket artillery systems using its stockpiles, it decided that the US would be the best option.
According to officials in Kiev, and pro-Ukraine voice in the US, the launchers from the USA would change the direction of the Ukrainian force. “I think it could be a gamechanger, to be honest with you,”CNN spoke with Jason Crow, Representative.
Kiev, which has lost territory in recent times, is now stating that it faces serious problems in Donbass. Russian and allies forces captured Liman this week. It was a crucial railroad junction and stronghold for Ukrainian troops.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French- and German-brokered protocols were intended to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that break away from the state.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself neutral in order to be able to join NATO. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.