Russia has failed to destroy a single HIMARS launcher to date, but Ukraine still needs more artillery: report
- Russia has not destroyed a single HIMARS launcher to date, a defense official told Politico.
- The long-range rocket launchers have been a huge asset to Ukraine's war effort thus far.
Ukraine's military prowess utilizing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems provided by the US remains unmatched.
The long-range, high-precision rocket launchers, also known as HIMARS, have proven monumental to Ukraine's ongoing war effort against Russia. With a range reaching up to 50 miles, Ukraine has used the rockets to effectively hit Russian positions and clear out before the enemy can retaliate.
Russia has failed to destroy a single HIMARS launcher since Ukraine first began using them in June, a senior Defense Department official told Politico.
No weapon system has had as big an impact on the fighting in Ukraine as the HIMARS — especially given Russia's apparent inability to level the playing field.
A $1.1 billion US security assistance package announced in September more than doubled the number of HIMARS on Ukraine's battlefield, adding an additional 18 systems, as well as the associated ammunition.
Moscow's inability to put a dent in Ukraine's HIMARS supply is a likely source of frustration among the Russians, but a land-warfare expert told Insider last month that Russia's failure to do so is likely a result of military incompetence and outdated infrastructure.
A military expert told Insider in July that the HIMARS are a "perfect" weapon for Ukraine because they exploit Russia's poor war planning. William Alberque, director of strategy, technology, and arms control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies called the weapons "exactly the right system at the right time."
Despite the HIMARS' power, Ukraine still needs more artillery for the fight ahead, the same defense official told Politico. Ukraine is firing anywhere from 4,000 - 7,000 artillery rounds every day compared to Russia's 20,000, the outlet reported.
Ukraine is fighting to reclaim territory in Kharkiv and the Kherson region, but with winter on the way, updated infrastructure will be necessary. The Pentagon announced Friday that it will pay the Czech Republic to upgrade 45 Soviet-era T-72 tanks.
The updates are part of an additional $400 million in military aid the Biden administration announced this week that also includes missiles for HAWK air defense systems in Kyiv, 250 armored vehicles, and 1,100 Phoenix Ghost drones.
The US has now committed more than $18.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since President Joe Biden took office, according to a defense press release.
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