Ukraine to Get HIMARS Rocket Launchers, But Without ATACMS: What GMRLS Missiles Can Do

HIMARS multiple rocket launcher / Illustrative photo from open sources
HIMARS multiple rocket launcher / Illustrative photo from open sources

HIMARS and/or M270 multiple rocket launchers with GMRLS high-precision missiles are capable of destroying targets up to 70 km away

The situation around supplying Ukraine with HIMARS and/or M270 launch platforms is getting more clear in understanding which system is about to reinforce Ukraine’s military. After all the signs that the supply of these launchers will eventually take place, some confusion was caused by the US President Joe Biden himself.

“US won't send rockets to Ukraine that could reach Russia”, said President Biden on May 30.

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However, clarifying information quickly emerged from Washington officials, including the co-chair of the international working group on sanctions against Russia, Michael McFaul. He said that it was the decision not to transfer the most long-range missiles to HIMARS and/or M270. The same information was reported by a number of Western media, citing their own sources in the government.

In other words, it’s possible to assume with a certain degree of confidence that the US would hand over GMLRS high-precision jet missiles to Ukraine M30 and M31, firing distance of up to 70 km. The main difference between these missiles in the warhead: the M30 contains a cluster warhead for 404 sub-elements M85 DPICM, and the M31 contains 90-kg high-explosive warhead.

Ukraine to Get HIMARS Rocket Launcher, But Without ATACMS: What GMRLS High-Precision Missiles Can Do, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
HIMARS can launch up to 6 GMLRS missiles / Illustrative photo from open sources

Defense Express notes that such ammunition is not in short supply, because in early 2021 missile manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced that they had handed over 50,000 GMRLS ammunition to the US Army.

These GMRLS will be extremely necessary to complete a range of tasks which could be implemented by the Armed Forces of Ukraine only by means of Vilkha (Alder tree) missile complex before. But Ukraine experiences high lack of these complexes, as well as missiles to them.

Ukraine to Get HIMARS Rocket Launcher, But Without ATACMS: What GMRLS High-Precision Missiles Can Do, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
M270 can launch up to 12 GMLRS missiles / Illustrative photo from open sources

Especially considering that the former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak, in November 2020 said that 98 missiles were in storage and that they were not being purchased because they were not a priority. At the time, the phrase drew a storm of criticism, as the actual stockpile of missiles was only eight full volleys of one launcher, but it is unknown whether it affected further order of additional missiles or not.

In any case, GMRLS missiles will now begin to perform these tasks, and there seems to be no shortage of them. And this will allow us to talk about the possibility of destroying advanced logistics bases, communication centers, regular strikes on headquarters, places of accumulation of military equipment of the russian federation, as well as their active use in counter-battery warfare.

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