February 2, 2023

Money News PH

The Premier Blog Where Money Talks

HIMARS, a US-made missile system, has helped give Ukraine momentum

Since the first weeks of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been imploring any government that will listen to him that his country has been defeated at the hands of the Russian army. If Ukraine wants to survive, it needs longer-range weapons, he said.

In response to that call in June, Washington delivered the first batch of truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers called HIMARS, which fire satellite-guided missiles at a range of about 50 miles, longer than anything Ukraine had previously possessed.

Since then, these weapons have helped Ukraine change the dynamics of the war.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that on New Year’s Day, 63 soldiers were killed in an attack on a building in Donetsk province, which officials from both sides said was carried out using a HIMARS system. The Ukrainian military estimates that hundreds were killed in the attack.

The HIMARS system – the acronym standing for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System – is most effective when deployed against stationary targets that can be identified and located in advance, such as. B. Ammunition stores, infrastructure or troop concentrations. The United States has so far delivered at least 20 HIMARS systems, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, to Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces began using the rocket launchers last summer as part of a counteroffensive to retake land in the southern Kherson region.

Beginning in late July, Ukraine used the artillery-missile system to attack the Antonivsky Bridge, disrupting a vital supply line for thousands of troops it had stationed in the city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnieper River. Eventually, the Kremlin ordered its troops to withdraw from the city.

“They patiently destroyed Russian logistics and command and control and made it impossible for Russia to maintain forces on the west bank of the Dnieper,” said Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland, in an analysis of the war published on Substack.

Western military analysts said Monday’s strike reflected a change in tactics. Ukraine’s commanders used the missiles primarily to hit ammunition depots and supply lines, but more recently they’ve targeted more barracks and other troop concentrations, said Michael Kofman, director of Russian studies at CNA, a research institute in Arlington, Virginia.

“The influx of mobilized personnel at the front has left them visibly vulnerable to strikes,” he said.

Mr Kofman said the recent HIMARS strikes had had less of an overall impact on the war than when they were first introduced in the summer and reduced Russia’s advantage in artillery.

So far, the rocket launchers have not caused major changes on the front lines in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, where Monday’s deadly attack on a school barracks took place. Russia has controlled much of the territory since 2014 and has significant defenses.

But the rocket launchers were used to hit other troop concentrations to the east. Russia’s state news agency Tass said in December that a HIMARS hit a hotel in Luhansk province. According to Ukrainian authorities, the hotel was a base of the Russian paramilitary Wagner group, which played a significant role in Moscow’s campaign in Donbass.

Mr O’Brien argued that weapons like the HIMARS would most likely be important as the war entered its second year.

“The first step on any Ukrainian road to victory will be to continue this great phase of wastage that we are in,” he wrote, adding that Ukraine “will rely primarily on long-range weapons to systematically engage opposing Russian forces.” dismantle.”