U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a fresh $700 million arms deal for Ukraine, which will include high mobility artillery rocket launchers that can accurately strike targets up to 80 kilometres away (50 miles).
Biden said in a statement, “The United States will stand with our Ukrainian allies and continue to support Ukraine with defensive weaponry and equipment.”
After getting assurances from Kyiv that it would not use the precise HIMARS rocket systems to strike targets within Russian territory, Vice President Biden revealed plans to provide Ukraine with HIMARS rocket systems. Biden placed the restriction in an effort to prevent escalation of the Ukraine conflict.
A senior official from the Department of Defense informed reporters at the Pentagon that the United States will first transfer four HIMARS systems to Ukraine.
It will take approximately three weeks to train Ukrainian forces on the new technologies, according to the spokesman.
“No system will change the tide of the conflict. This is a contest of national determination… It is a gruelling, difficult fight “Undersecretary of defence for policy Colin Kahl told reporters.
Ukraine has sought Multiple Rocket Launch Systems (MLRS) such as the M270 and M142 HIMARS – both manufactured by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) – to give more firepower at a greater distance to strike Russian troop concentrations and weapons caches in Russia’s rear.
The longer-range rockets that Ukraine sought could have had a range of 300 miles – significantly greater than howitzer rounds. The range of the rockets that the Biden administration has agreed to provide is shorter than the Soviet-era rockets that Ukraine now lacks.
During an appearance with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Blinken stated, “The Ukrainians have assured us that they will not use these weapons against targets on Russian territory.”
Jonathan Finer, deputy national security adviser at the White House, stated earlier that Washington believes the system will meet Kiev’s requirements.
“This is a defensive struggle being waged by the Ukrainians. Russian military are present on their soil “Finer stated in a CNN interview.
There are important targets that the Ukrainians cannot reach with their current arsenal, according to Finer, and the rocket system will make a substantial difference in the fight in the southeast of the country, where Russian forces are currently stationed.
The new package also includes ammunition, counter fire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, extra Javelin anti-tank missiles, and anti-armor weapons, according to officials.
Officials from Ukraine have requested longer-range missile systems from their partners in an effort to shift the course of the four-month-old war.
By providing modern rockets to Ukraine, according to Russia, the United States is putting fuel to the fire. Finer stated that Biden had directly and publicly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of the risks of any invasion of Ukraine.
Finer stated, “We are doing exactly what we said we would do.” “Russia brought this upon itself by invading a sovereign nation from its own land.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, thousands of people have died and millions more have been displaced.
As the United States and its allies equip Ukraine with increasingly advanced armaments, Washington has warned Kyiv of the risk of escalation if it strikes far within Russia. United States and diplomatic officials informed Reporters