Artillery types

Despite Russian warnings, UK to send long-range artillery rockets to Ukraine

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said London had closely coordinated with Washington its donation of multiple-launch rocket systems, known as MLRS, to help Ukraine defend against Russian aggression.

Smoke and dirt rise in the city of Severodonetsk during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine, on June 2, 2022. (AFP)

London: Britain said on Monday it would mirror the United States and send long-range missile systems to Ukraine, defying Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s warnings against supplying Kyiv with advanced weapons. Britain’s Ministry of Defense says London has coordinated closely with Washington over its donation of multiple launch rocket systems, known as MLRS, to help Ukraine defend against Russian aggression. .

The M270 launchers, which can hit targets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) away with precision-guided rockets, “will provide a significant increase in the capabilities of Ukrainian forces”, the ministry added.

Last week, the United States announced that it would give Kyiv its high-mobility artillery rocket system, known as HIMARS, which can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided missiles and is superior in range and accurately to the existing systems that Ukraine has.

However, US President Joe Biden has ruled out supplying him with systems that could reach Russia, despite repeated requests from Kyiv.

Despite this, the US decision prompted Putin to warn on Sunday that Moscow will hit new, unspecified “targets” if the West supplies the missiles to Ukraine and said the new arms deliveries to Kyiv were aimed at “prolonging the conflict”.

But unveiling Britain’s latest contribution, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace insisted Ukraine’s western allies must maintain arms supplies to enable it to “win” its war by repelling invading Russian forces.

“The UK stands with Ukraine in this fight and plays a leading role in providing its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country against unprovoked invasion,” he said. he said in a statement.

“As Russia’s tactics change, our support for Ukraine must also change. These high-performance multiple-launch rocket systems will allow our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery. , which Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to raze cities.”

Ukrainian troops will be trained in the use of the launchers in the UK, so they can “maximize the effectiveness of the systems”, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

London has so far offered more than 750 million pounds ($937 million, 874 million euros) in military support to Ukraine, including sending air defense systems, thousands of anti-tank missiles and various types of ammunition, hundreds of armored vehicles and other equipment.

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