US President refuses to send long-range strike missiles to Ukraine

Speaking to the media on May 30, US President Joe Biden said the country would not provide Ukraine with missile systems capable of reaching Russia. This statement comes as it is reported that Washington will send multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) to Ukraine.

“We will not give Ukraine missile systems that can reach Russia.”Mr. Biden told reporters on his return to the White House from the weekend.

It is not clear which missile system Biden was referring to in the statement.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly asked the United States to provide the country with rocket artillery systems capable of deploying tactical attack missiles.

US President refuses to send long-range strike missiles to Ukraine - 1

The Biden administration is concerned that Ukraine will use MLRS systems to attack Russian territory, thereby drawing the United States into the conflict. (Photo: US Army)

Last weekend, CNN and The Washington Post both reported that the Biden administration was leaning toward providing Ukraine with the rocket systems they requested. More specifically the M142 HIMARS systems.

CNN sources said that the point that made the White House hesitate to transfer HIMARS to Ukraine was that the system had a range of up to 300 km with the ATACMS tactical surface-to-surface missile version. Meanwhile, conventional rocket versions only have a range of about 30-70km.

In addition to HIMARS, the US military also has another MLRS system, the M270 using a crawler chassis, which in terms of maneuverability is clearly not equal to HIMARS with a wheeled chassis (6×6). Another point is that HIMARS can be transported by military transport planes from the US directly to near the Ukrainian border.

Each HIMARS or M270 system can carry a cluster of 12-barrel launchers or an ATACMS missile. Each mobile launcher is operated by three soldiers including the driver.

According to the U.S. Army, MLRS systems, with their diverse ammunition ranges, help engage high-value targets in open, urban, or complex environments.

Even when equipped with unguided rockets, M270 and HIMARS are considered to have higher accuracy than the rocket artillery that Ukraine owns.

With the combat capability of HIMARS, Ukraine can completely use this weapon system to attack targets located inside Russian territory.

Ukrainian authorities have been urging the West to provide them with more long-range weapons so they can turn the tide in the conflict, which has entered its fourth month.

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