US has modified HIMARS to prevent Ukraine from striking Russian territory
The United States modified the HIMARS rocket artillery systems it gave to Ukraine, making them unable to fire long-range missiles at Russia, The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 5, citing U.S. officials.
This was done in order to reduce the risk of escalating the war into a wider U.S.-Russia conflict.
“The United States secretly modified the advanced HIMARS rocket launchers it gave Ukraine so they can’t be used to fire long-range missiles into Russia – a precaution the Biden administration says is necessary to reduce the risk of a wider war with Moscow,” WSJ writes.
According to the report, the United States has supplied Ukraine with 20 HIMARS systems and a “large inventory” of GMLRS satellite-guided rockets for them, with a range of 80 kilometers.
These weapons have been exceptionally successful in striking Russian ammunition depots and command-and-control centers in Ukraine.
HIMARS, however, are also capable of launching ATACMS missiles, which can hit targets 300 kilometers away. U.S. Department of Defense modified Ukraine-bound HIMARS to lock them out of being able to launch ATACMS, officials told WSJ.
On Dec. 2, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin signed a $431 million contract for additional HIMARS systems.
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