The US-supplied long-range rocket systems, according to Ukraine’s defense minister, have changed the game in Kyiv’s battle against Russia’s harsh, months-long invasion. However, he stressed that Ukraine still needs additional assistance to win the war.
HIMARS, also known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, have enabled Ukrainian forces to precisely target Russian soldiers up to 50 kilometers away.
According to Reznikov, who spoke to the Journal, Ukrainian forces employed the weapons most successfully in the battle for the city of Izyum, which is located approximately 75 miles southeast of Kharkiv.
“In the Izyum case, we were precise [in targeting] a Russian command center for aerial operations. It was really precise. Our partners saw it and said, we passed the test. So we need to have something a little bit longer: 150 kilometers, 93 miles. We’ll get there,” he assured.
The military minister claimed that despite Ukraine’s success with the launchers, the Russians had activated their own missile systems that have a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles).
Ukraine is primarily looking to acquire the 186-mile-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Washington has voiced reluctance to send such weapons because it is concerned that Ukraine may target Russian targets, extending and widening the war.
Reznikov made his remarks a few days after the Biden administration declared it would give the country in Eastern Europe an additional $400 million worth of military hardware, including four more cutting-edge rocket launchers.
The four new systems would let Ukraine target Russian command and control nodes, logistical capabilities, and other systems, a senior defense official told the Associated Press on Friday.
Since the first delivery of eight systems from the US late last month, at least 100 Ukrainian soldiers have received training to operate the HIMARS.
On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine and is now attempting to fully seize the eastern Donbas area after an initial advance toward Kiev was repulsed.