US Considers Doubled Delivery of HIMARS M142 Rocket Launch System to Ukraine

US Considers Doubled Delivery of HIMARS M142 Rocket Launch System to Ukraine
US Considers Doubled Delivery of HIMARS M142 Rocket Launch System to Ukraine

International Military - The Pentagon is considering whether to send four additional M142 HIMARS rocket launcher systems to Ukraine, Politico reported. The United States has promised the Kiev military four such systems, but Ukrainian officials want more.

The US announced in early June that it would deliver four HIMARS systems, each of which can fire six rockets from the back of a truck. The US said it would provide the rockets with the GMLRS guidance system, which has a range of between 32 km and 60 km.

Read Also: Russian Ambassador Concerned US Will Send More HIMARS Rocket Artillery to Ukraine

The HIMARS platform can also fire a single guided missile with a range of up to 300 km, but the US has not provided this projectile to Ukraine.

An unnamed Pentagon official told Politico that the US Department of Defense is considering sending another four HIMARS systems as part of an upcoming US aid package. "The decision, which is not yet final, will be based on the urgent needs of Ukraine," one of the officials was quoted as saying by Russia Today from Politico, Sunday (19/6/2022).

The arms donation will likely be funded from the $1 billion amount of "security assistance" announced by US President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Biden said that the seven-figure "security assistance" package would be used for additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that Ukraine needs to support their defense operations.

Read Also: US President Joe Biden Announces Worth $1 Billion Arms Aid to Ukraine

The $1 billion aid package was announced by Biden less than a month after he signed off on a $40 billion spending to fund Ukraine's military and economy, and on top of the $13.6 billion spending package approved by Congress in March.

In addition, the UK has provided Ukraine with three US-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) similar to HIMARS and Germany this week announced that it will also deliver three M270s, reportedly down from its original promise of four due to a shortage of ammunition. "The first four US-provided HIMARS systems will reach Ukraine by the end of this month after their Ukrainian crews are trained," US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said earlier this week.

Despite the outpouring of military support, Kiev has asked for far more than this, and other weapons systems. "We asked for 10 times more HIMARS launchers," Ukrainian lawmaker Alexandra Ustinova told Politico. "Four HIMARS is nothing," he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's aide, Mikhail Podoliak, appealed to the West earlier this week for 1,000 155mm howitzers or nearly ten times the number delivered by the US so far, 500 tanks and 300 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).

Read Also: US President Joe Biden Plans To Send More Advanced Missile System To Ukraine

Assuming Podoliak was referring to the M270 MLRS system, he would only ask for under a quarter of such systems in existence worldwide. With Russian artillery destroying Ukrainian positions in the Donbass, and Ukraine losing as many as 1,000 troops a day, divisions have arisen in Washington over the end of the conflict.

CNN recently reported that US and European officials are pushing Ukraine to make peace with Russia, and NBC News this week reported that these officials are becoming increasingly concerned that the war trajectory in Ukraine is untenable and is quietly discussing asking Zelensky to cede territory. to Russia as part of the peace agreement.

However, neither U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin nor Secretary of State Antony Blinken have moved on from their position that Ukraine can win the conflict in a military sense, while other officials told NBC that the Biden administration is planning a long war and intends to ask Congress for more money. .

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