US Explains Reason Why Ukraine Didn't Receive Long Range Missiles Against Russia

US Explains Reason Why Ukraine Didn't Receive Long Range Missiles Against Russia
US Explains Reason Why Ukraine Didn't Receive Long Range Missiles Against Russia (Pict Of Illustration)

Washington - The United States is not supplying Kiev with long-range ATACMS missiles at this time because most Russian targets are within range of other weapons. The statement was made by a senior Pentagon official on Wednesday (08/24/2022).

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US Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl said "It is our assessment that they do not currently require the ATACMS to serve targets that are directly relevant to the current fight." He explained, “It is our current assessment that we should focus on GMLRS, not ATACMS.”

Both types of missiles can be fired by the US-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, which the US and UK have supplied to Ukraine.

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The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) projectiles launch in salvos, are smaller, and have a range of up to 80 km. The Army's MGM-140 Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is a larger tactical grade ballistic missile that can cover a range of up to 300 km.

Ukraine has long said it wants ATACMS munitions from the US to strike Russian targets behind the front lines. One of the objects that Ukrainian officials say they want to destroy is the bridge connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. This bridge is the longest in Europe and is mostly used by civil vehicles and rail. Kiev claims it is a legitimate military target because it could be used to send troops and military supplies to the peninsula, which Russia considers temporarily occupied by Russia.

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US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan previously voiced concern that supplying Ukraine with ATACMS missiles could escalate the conflict and lead to a world war. Kahl said the reason for not sending them was purely military and based on reports that Ukraine provided to the US.

"Washington's aid package is designed in such a way as to allow Ukrainian forces to continue fighting in the long term and operate the weapons systems provided," the deputy minister said. "Ukraine may not get billions of dollars in international aid 10 years from now, or 20 years from now," he said.

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