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the delivery of new weapons to kyiv “increases the risk” of a military confrontation between Russia and the United States, warns Moscow

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Will the American multiple rocket launchers announced in Ukraine be a game-changer?

The United States announced on Tuesday 1er June, sending multiple rocket launcher systems to Ukraine, but their ability to be a real game-changer on the ground against the Russian military is not so certain. The announcement concerns Himars, a mobile rocket launcher system – mounted on light armor – which can fire numerous missiles at the same time.

The Russian and Ukrainian armies already use similar tools, but the American Himars systems have a longer range and are more accurate.

Those that will be delivered to kyiv this time have a range limited to around 80 kilometers, according to a senior White House official. Washington did not want the Ukrainian army to be able to fire on targets in Russian territory. “We are not going to send rocket systems to Ukraine that can strike inside Russia”Joe Biden told reporters on Monday morning.

What weapons are these?

The M-142 Himars systems are a modernized, lightened and lightly armored version of the chain-mounted M-270 MLRS developed in the 1970s by the United States and its allies.

Himars can carry two types of missile launch stations: one allows six 227 millimeter guided missiles to be launched simultaneously, the other a single ATACMS tactical missile, at longer range. But the United States will not supply kyiv with ATACMS tactical missiles, with a range of 300 kilometers.

A small team can reload the missiles alone in minutes. This will require training provided to Ukrainian soldiers.

The US Army already has Himars stationed in Europe. Poland and Romania, members of NATO, also have them. The quantity of these armaments that Washington plans to send to Ukraine has not yet been specified.

Why are they so expected?

The American multiple rocket launchers will allow the Ukrainian armed forces to strike in depth the Russian positions while placing their batteries further from the front.

The missiles, fired by six from the Himars, are guided by GPS and have a range about twice as high as that of the classic shell guns already supplied by the United States, the M-777 Howitzer.

This range makes it possible to have the batteries out of range of the Russian artillery while being able, conversely, to reach them. These missiles could also bomb Russian army logistics depots far behind their lines. “The Himars would rebalance the balance of power”said a senior US official.

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