Highlights

  • US to send rocket systems to Ukraine?
  • Joe Biden expected to announce shipment Himer rocket system
  • Himars a critical weapon repeatedly requested by Ukraine

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US to provide Kyiv with advanced rocket system Himars: how will it stop Russians

According reports the US will send Himars, the high mobility artillery rocket systems that can hit targets that are as far away as 80 km.

The Biden administration is expected to announce it will send Ukraine a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems, a critical weapon that Ukrainian leaders have been begging for as they struggle to stall Russian progress in the Donbas region, US officials said.

The US plan tries to strike a balance between the desire to help Ukraine battle ferocious Russian artillery barrages while not providing arms that could allow Ukraine to hit targets deep inside Russia and trigger an escalation in the war. President Joe Biden said Monday that the US would not send Ukraine "rocket systems that can strike into Russia.” Any weapons system can shoot into Russia if it's close enough to the border. The aid package expected to be unveiled Wednesday would send what the US considers medium-range rockets — they generally can travel about 45 miles (70 kilometers), said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss aid not yet made public.

The expectation is that Ukraine could use the rockets in the eastern Donbas region, where they could both intercept Russian artillery and take out Russian positions in towns where fighting is intense, such as Sievierodonetsk.

Also watch: Russia tests missile 10 times faster than speed of sound amid Ukraine war | Zircon hypersonic missile

Sievierodonetsk is important to Russian efforts to capture the Donbas before more Western arms arrive to bolster Ukraine's defense. The city, which is 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of the Russian border, is in an area that is the last pocket under Ukrainian government control in the Luhansk region of the Donbas.

US officials did not say how much the aid will cost, but it will be the 11th package approved so far, and will be the first to tap the USD40 billion in assistance recently passed by Congress. The rocket systems would be part of Pentagon drawdown authority, so would involve taking weapons from US inventory and getting them into Ukraine quickly. Ukrainian troops would also need training on the new systems, which could take at least a week or two.

Officials said the plan is to send Ukraine the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, which is mounted on a truck and can carry a container with six rockets. The system can launch a medium-range rocket, which is the current plan, but is also capable of firing a longer-range missile, the Army Tactical Missile System, which has a range of about 190 miles (300 kilometers) and is not part of the plan.

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