Will US Multiple Rocket Launchers Announced in Ukraine Change?
The United States announced on Tuesday 1er June, sending multiple rocket launcher systems to Ukraine, but their ability to really change things on the ground in the face of the Russian military is not so certain. The announcement concerns Himars, a mobile rocket launcher system – mounted on light armor – that can fire many missiles at the same time.
The Russian and Ukrainian armies already use similar tools, but US Himars systems are more far-reaching and more accurate.
Those to be delivered to Kiev this time have a limited range of about 80 kilometers, according to a senior White House official. Washington did not want the Ukrainian military to be able to fire on Russian territory. “We are not going to send rocket systems to Ukraine that could hit the interior of Russia.”Joe Biden told reporters Monday morning.
What weapons are these?
The M-142 Himars systems are a modernized, lightweight, light-armored version of the M-270 MLRS, a chain-mounted, and developed in the 1970s by the United States and its allies.
Himars can carry two types of missile launch stations: one to launch six 227 mm guided missiles simultaneously, the other a single, longer-range ATACMS tactical missile. But the United States will not supply Kiev with 300-kilometer ATACMS tactical missiles.
A small team can reload missiles on their own in minutes. This will require training for Ukrainian soldiers.
The US military already has Hymars stationed in Europe. NATO members also have Poland and Romania. The quantity of these weapons that Washington plans to send to Ukraine has not yet been specified.
Why are they so expected?
US multiple rocket launchers will allow the Ukrainian armed forces to strike deep into Russian positions while placing their batteries further away from the front.
The missiles, fired by six from the Himars, are GPS-guided and have a range of about twice the range of the classic US-supplied M-777 Howitzer shells already provided by the United States.
This range makes it possible to dispose of batteries out of range of Russian artillery while being able to, conversely, reach the latter. These missiles could also bomb Russian Army logistics depots, far behind their lines. “The Himars would rebalance the balance of power”said a senior US official.