The US Department of Defense categorically denies the Russian allegation that Ukraine uses HIMARS to hit targets on Russian territory.
As writes Reuters on Friday, quoting a senior Pentagon official, Western HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems are not used to destroy targets in the Russian Federation:
“Russia’s claim to use HIMARS for strikes outside Ukraine is false. Ukraine uses them in combat and uses them quite effectively.”
Before the start of deliveries of multiple launch rocket systems, Washington feared an escalation of the conflict if Ukraine used them to strike Russian territory. However, after Kyiv’s assurances to the contrary, it nevertheless began to provide MLRS in June.
The Pentagon spokesman notes that Ukraine has successfully launched strikes on the rear of Russian troops in the occupied territories, undermining their ability to continue to intensively use artillery. He also claims that after Russian claims about the alleged destruction of two HIMARS, it was established that all of them are still in service.
On Friday, the United States announced a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine. It provides for four more HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, as well as, for the first time, 1,000 high-precision 155 mm artillery shells. An unnamed Pentagon official said:
“This is a new type of 155 mm artillery shell. It has greater accuracy. It will give Ukraine the ability to accurately hit specific targets. Due to accuracy, it will be more effective. This is a further improvement in our support for Ukraine in the battle for Donbass.”
He also clarified that these artillery shells are being delivered to Ukraine for the first time and they can be used on equipment already at the disposal of Kyiv.