Washington does not yet plan to supply Kiev with missiles of the MGM – 140 ATACMS family, flying at a range of up to 300 km, but is considering other options for long-range systems that it could transfer. General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about it in an interview with Defense One, giving some details.
According to him, the United States, from a military point of view, does not have a lot of long-range munitions that could be supplied to Ukraine. Also, their real capabilities, in terms of range and such, are somewhat exaggerated by the media.
Today there is a political decision not to transfer such missiles to Ukraine, but a discussion in the future is not excluded. According to him, there are other weapon systems that can provide the same range as ATACMS.
He explained that ATACMS is an ammunition that can be used by universal launchers (combining the work of MLRS and OTRK) M270 MLRS and M142 HIMARS. Thus, in OTRK mode, HIMARS can only perform a “single shot” of ATACMS, while in MLRS mode, it is able to use a set of six rockets from the GMLRS family.
There are, for example, drones that can do this, and the British have several systems. So those are the things we’re looking at to give them a bit more power.
During the conversation, Milli added that Ukraine is unlikely to “win” over Russia this year. He stressed that “the liberation of Ukrainian territory of hundreds of thousands of Russians” is extremely problematic to implement.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. I am simply saying that it is a very difficult military task.
It should be noted that, according to Western military experts, the United States has about 4,000 ATACMS ballistic missiles of all types in service. Given the huge consumption of all kinds of ammunition in Ukraine, any amount of ATACMS will simply dissolve there. How effectively Russian/Soviet air defense systems can shoot them down is still unknown.
Photos used: US Army
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