Ukraine has said it has destroyed as many as 50 Russian ammunition depots using the US-supplied HIMARS rocket systems in the last month. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems supplied by the Biden administration is touted by Kyiv as a gamechanger in the war with Russia that has entered the sixth month.
"This cuts their (Russian) logistical chains and takes away their ability to conduct active fighting and cover our armed forces with heavy shelling," said Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, according to Reuters. The minister underlined the crucial role of HIMARS in the defense against Russia, the agency reported, though it said it could not independently verify his remarks.
US Aid Package
Washington's latest aid package of $270 million for Ukraine announced last week includes more units of the highly effective high mobility artillery rocket systems. Apart from this the US is also giving Ukraine $100 million worth of drones as well as 580 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial vehicles from AEVEX Aerospace LLC. There is also provision for around $175 million for other defense needs.
Russia is alive to the fact that HIMARS systems are capable of inflicting damage on its forces in Ukraine. Moscow said last week it destroyed as many as four HIMARS systems between July 5 and 20, in a big blow to Ukrainian resistance.
According to Lockheed Martin, which makes the HIMARS systems, the weapons is the most technically advanced, affordable and sustainable artillery solution. HIMARS carries a six-pack of GMLRS rockets or one TACMS missile, and is designed to launch the entire MLRS family of munitions. The systems are operated on a wheeled chassis instead of tracks, and it is deployable from C-130 and larger aircraft, providing 'prompt and decisive action in often hard to reach and austere locations,' says Lockheed Martin.
Earlier, Ukraine had claimed that it had killed a senior Russian general in Kherson, using the HIMARS rockets. Serhiy Bratchuk, the spokesman for the Odesa regional military, said Major General Artem Nasbulin, the chief of staff of Russia's 22nd Army Corps, was killed in the Kherson region.
HIMARS missiles have longer range than other artillery systems, a factor that helps Ukraine hit Russian targets far away. In Moscow's eyes, Washington's supply of HIMARS was directly intended to prolong the war and wear Moscow down.
The US has committed to send more HIMARS systems to Ukraine as part of its weapons package. The Biden administration has already given Ukraine a a whopping $8.2 billion in defense and other aide.