UK seeks US approval to send missile systems to Ukraine

The M270 can hit targets nearly 50 miles away. The missile range has been a sticking point in discussions over the past few weeks, with Ukrainian officials demanding the weapons Troops in the east suffered heavy Russian artillery shelling. Western officials have expressed concern that providing Kyiv with missiles that could strike inside Russian territory could push President Vladimir Putin to escalate the conflict, including using chemical or even nuclear weapons.

This news comes a day after the Biden administration announced that decided to send High-mobility artillery rocket system and munitions with a range of 48 miles to Kyiv. HIMARS is a mobile rocket launcher that can hit targets from 40 to 300 miles away, depending on the type of missile you’re firing. The administration eventually chose to send the shorter-range munitions.

Another person familiar with discussions between the United States and Ukraine told POLITICO this week that one factor that influenced the Biden administration’s decision to send more modern HIMARS to Ukraine in place of the MLRS was a desire to lead by example and push allies to send them. Own MLRS to Ukraine. The UK will be the first country to send out US-made MLRS.

HIMARS and MLRS offer similar capabilities and ranges, but HIMARS is a lighter version that moves on a wheeled chassis. The MLRS moves on tracks, which means it’s not as fast as HIMARS, which can reach speeds of more than 50 mph, giving the Ukrainians the ability to shoot and flee before Russian drones can spot them. The HIMARS system can fire six missiles simultaneously, while the MLRS can fire 12 missiles.

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Fourteen countries from Finland to South Korea have field versions of US-made MLRS, the list of operators corresponds to countries that have attended two recent high-level meetings dedicated to finding ways to bolster Ukraine’s armament, the last of which happened on May 23 The Ukrainian Defense Contact Group is scheduled to meet again in Brussels On June 15.

Only the United States, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Romania operate HIMARS, making it a relatively rare asset that puts Ukraine into a small club. Both Poland and Australia have ordered 20 HIMARS in recent years but have not yet received them.

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