Artillery price

Why Putin fears Ukrainian HIMARS and M270 artillery (thanks America)

The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is undoubtedly the “star of the summer” of the war in Ukraine.

The US weapons system has enabled the Ukrainian military to halt the Russian advance on the battlefield and will be essential in the impending counteroffensive in the south of the country.

M142 HIMARS example like the one at war in Ukraine. Image credit: YouTube screenshot.

The artillery war continues

In its Daily War Estimate, the British Ministry of Defense focused on artillery warfare and the measures taken by the Russian military to protect its line of communication and supply.

“Ukrainian missile and artillery units continue to target Russian military strongholds, personnel groups, logistics support bases and ammunition depots,” British Military Intelligence said. assessed.

“This will most likely impact Russian military logistics resupply and put pressure on Russian military combat support elements,” the UK MoD said.

The HIMARS and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) really put pressure on the Russian forces. Simply put, both weapon systems can launch a missile with devastating accuracy (the missiles are guided by Global Positioning System technology) at ranges well beyond Russian counter-battery fire.

Often the HIMARS and M270 fire missiles from so far away that by the time the ammunition hits their targets, the HIMARS and M270 have already left their firing positions.

The Russians are trying to find ways to counter the HIMARS but with mixed success.

Russian forces have almost certainly positioned pyramidal radar reflectors in the water near the recently damaged Antonivskiy Bridge and near the nearby recently damaged railway bridge, both of which cross the Dnipro River in Kherson, southern Ukraine,” said the UK Ministry of Defence.

“The radar reflectors are likely used to hide the bridge from synthetic aperture radar images and possible missile targeting equipment. This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and accuracy of the systems provided by the West,” British military intelligence assessed.

HIMARS and its limits

Perhaps the biggest limiting factor of the HIMARS right now, it’s the missiles he’s using.

With six launch tubes per HIMARS and 16 HIMARS in service or in transit, the Ukrainian army could fire 96 missiles per day or 2,880 per month. And that number does not include the M270s which have 12 launch tubes per vehicle. A standard HIMARS missile costs around $7.5 million. And 2880 missiles, which is a month’s supply for the current Ukrainian HIMARS arsenal, costs almost 400 million dollars. Certainly, the United States has proven that money is not a problem by providing nearly $10 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the war. But stocks are, and with a stockpile of between 30,000 and 50,000 missiles, the US military can only distribute a limited amount.

Thus, the Ukrainian army must be careful with the targeting process which involves the HIMARS and M270 because, with a limited supply of ammunition for everyone, only targets with the highest strategic value should be engaged.

[1945’sNewColumnofDefenseandNationalSecurity[1945’sNouveauchroniqueurdedéfenseetdesécuriténationaleStavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (National Service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ) and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. His work has been featured in Business Intern, Sandboxand SOFREP.