Why the US HIMARS rocket is becoming more and more decisive for Ukraine

HIMARS rocket

HIMARS rocket

A Ukrainian military commander shows a rocket mounted on a HIMARS vehicle in eastern Ukraine on July 1, 2022.Credit – Anastasia Vlasova — Washington Post/Getty Images

On New Year’s Day, Ukraine killed US-made rockets Dozens, possibly hundreds of Russian soldiers within its boundaries. (Russian officials said the attack killed 63 of his servicemen, but Ukrainian officials suggest the casualties were in the hundreds.) It marks one of Ukraine’s deadliest attacks on its military.

Officials from both countries The HIMARS rocket, which is a satellite-guided weapon and has a range of about 50 miles, is said to have been used in the attack.

US first provided long-range HIMARS rocket to Ukraine back in junethey offered approximately twice the range of the weapons Kyiv had previously used.

Here’s what you need to know about the HIMARS rocket and why it became integral to Ukraine’s war operations.

What is HIMARS rocket?

Developed by Lockheed Martin, HIMARS stands for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

“HIMARS is one of the most advanced rocket artillery systems in the world. Acquired the ability to attack more accurately.

They are considered most effective at hitting stationary targets such as infrastructure and armed forces in concentrated areas.

HIMARS rockets have been vital to Ukraine in its defense and strike capabilities in its war with Russia, experts say. “HIMARS has liberated strategically important Ukrainian cities and territories. Analyst George Barros said.

How did Ukraine use HIMARS rockets against Russia?

HIMARS rockets were particularly effective in combating the Russian offensive in Donbass by allowing Ukraine to attack Russian supply and ammunition depots.

They were also crucial in forcing Russia to withdraw from Kherson. “It was possible because the Ukrainians had the extended strike capability to destroy these bridges.

Until the New Year’s Day attacks, HIMARS rockets were primarily used to target Russian infrastructure. “What’s different about the recent strike is that it hit an area that happened to have a lot of Russian soldiers, so there were a lot of casualties,” Williams says. “What we have seen so far is HIMARS being used to target Russian stockpiles of logistics, weapons and artillery.”

US Role in HIMARS Supply to Ukraine

The United States has supplied Ukraine with at least 20 HIMARS rockets. Their announcement to deliver weapons in June was part of a larger $700 million military aid package.

US officials say the HIMARS rockets delivered to Ukraine are subject to certain restrictions. They cannot fire ATACMS missiles, which have a range of almost 200 miles.The United States also states that HIMARS No fire on Russian territory.

Analysts say these kinds of restrictions are a way for the United States to prevent its support for Ukraine from escalating into a larger conflict between the United States and Russia.

Some have called on the United States to continue restricting the types of weapons provided to Ukraine. “The United States should avoid encouraging or furthering Ukraine’s efforts to completely remove Russian forces from all its territories, including Crimea. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will take even more reckless actions, including the possible use of nuclear weapons.” Charles Kupchan saidAccording to The Wall Street Journal, he was the top executive of the European National Security Council during the Obama administration.

But Williams said U.S. weapons used to strike targets inside Russia could be seen as more escalating, as opposed to systems developed inside Russia. I’m here. “Personally, I don’t think so, but it’s [Biden] The administration has drawn,” he says.

As the war continues, Ukraine’s access to effective weapons will be key in shaping its response to Russian aggression. Even with HIMARS, they demand that their Western allies also provide tanks. The United States refused.

Barros worries that arms restrictions could undermine Ukraine’s efforts to fight back effectively. “We are not going to send Ukrainian weapons and participate in World War III with Russia. [and]… send them long-range artillery,” he says.