US confirms new heavy weapons for Ukraine
Biden has officially announced the shipment of HIMARS rocket launchers
US President Joe Biden formally confirmed on Wednesday that Washinton will be sending HIMARS rocket artillery systems to Ukraine, as part of the latest “security assistance package” to Kiev.
The launchers will come with “battlefield munitions,” as Biden and multiple officials in his administration have insisted that the US doesn’t want Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia.
“Thanks to the additional funding for Ukraine, passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support in the US Congress, the United States will be able to keep providing Ukraine with more of the weapons that they are using so effectively to repel Russian attacks,” Biden said in a statement published by the White House.
The package will include “new capabilities and advanced weaponry, including HIMARS with battlefield munitions,” the US president added.
HIMARS is a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) that fires barrage rockets with an effective range of around 30 kilometers, but can also deploy tactical ballistic missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the US that sending more weapons to Ukraine risks direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
Since the start of hostilities in February, Kiev’s forces have lost more than 450 MLRS launchers in addition to more than 1,700 artillery pieces, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. Over the past week, Ukraine has also admitted a major defeat in Donbass, retreating from the key town of Krasny Liman, northeast of Slavyansk.