Following the US decision to send its High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, the UK is also taking over and sending its M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to Ukraine . It comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly pleaded with the world for heavier offensive weapons amid Russian bombardment in the east.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced the decision on June 6. According to them, the M270 can hit targets up to 50 miles away with pinpoint accuracy, which gives Ukraine an advantage on the ground as Russia is known to use unguided munitions amid reports. with a low supply of precision-guided munitions.
“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 an unprovoked invasion. If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win,” Wallace said.
“As Russia’s tactics change, our support for Ukraine must also change. These high-performance multiple launch rocket systems will better protect our Ukrainian friends against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to raze cities,” he said. he continued.
In particular, the United Kingdom has worked with one of its oldest allies, the United States, to send these weapons systems to Ukraine. SOFREP previously reported that the United States was evaluating whether to donate the wheeled M142 HIMARS or the M270 self-propelled multiple rocket launcher. With the US notably sending the four HIMARS to Ukraine as part of its new $700 million military assistance programme, the UK will also send the M270, providing other closely co-operated assistance to Kyiv.
It’s not like the US didn’t know the Brits were going to send the M270; it was probably discussed behind closed doors. The UK requested US approval to send the M270 MLRS as it is manufactured in the US, and this would require US approval for transfer due to export regulations.
It is important to note that the two systems are very similar, just that the HIMARS is a wheeled version of the M270 and has a longer range depending on the missile or rocket it is equipped with. Mobility is the name of the game in Ukraine, so it’s best if they have systems that can move quickly to avoid being targeted by Russian artillery and airstrikes. The Russians also have armed drones that can damage these weapon systems, so the Ukrainians must be vigilant enough to spot and destroy them before they can cause damage.
The MLRS is quite mobile, but with tracks it moves slower. While its tracks give it increased mobility in rough terrain, it comes with the downside of taking longer to fire all of its missiles and taking longer to reload. This means it is more vulnerable to counter-battery fire from Russia. The HIMARS can travel at approximately 80 km/h, allowing it to enter and exit faster. The MLRS, however, can launch 12 rockets at a time, with the HIMARS only firing six at a time.
The donation is the latest in a series of heavy weapons sent by the United States and NATO countries to grab headlines and perhaps also gauge Russian reaction. Three or four rocket artillery systems aren’t going to turn the tide of battle in Ukraine’s favor at all, but they’re good for getting media coverage. The United States currently leads support for Ukraine, eclipsing all of Europe with more than $5.3 billion in military aid and support sent to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. .
SOFREP previously reported that the British recently sent $1.6bn (£1.3bn) in military aid and support to Ukraine, doubling its previous donation to Ukraine. Meanwhile, he also imposed a new set of sanctions against Russian and Belarusian imports into their country, which affected $2.10 billion in goods, mostly platinum and palladium, which are used to make cellphones. and computer chips.
Prior to this, the UK sent Ukraine Stormer High Velocity Missile (HVM) launchers, Starstreak anti-aircraft rockets, Brimstone missiles and Mastiff armored vehicles to Ukraine. In total, it cost the UK government some $945m or £750m.
Notably, they also sent some 5,000 Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAW) which have since been revered weapons of the Ukrainian Armed Forces along with the US-made Javelins. These NLAWs have notably been integrated into Ukrainian e-bikes for their forces to use against Russian tanks, allowing them to get in and out of firing positions very quickly.
The Russians have the advantage in terms of the number of heavy weapons they have, that is, in terms of artillery and launchers. However, they used a “brutal force” approach amid rumors that they would run out of precision-guided munitions and dump bodies on Ukrainian positions and suffer heavy casualties. So what is this approach? It’s about bombing a specific area without really aiming at anything and destroying as many buildings and military equipment as possible. He did this in particular in Mariupol, where the city was almost entirely bombarded.
However, it is a conscious choice to use these unguided bombs as a military tactic to inflict pain on the civilian population in Ukraine, possibly to demoralize its army. If that was the tactic, it fails badly as the Ukrainian Armed Forces seem more determined to fight after bombing Ukrainian civilians.
Putin was notably annoyed by the HIMARS and MLRS provided by the West, as he said it would hit “targets that have not yet been hit”, threatening Ukraine’s Western allies.
“The longer the range of the delivered systems, the further we will move the Nazis away from the line from which threats against the Russian Federation can come,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
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