Yesterday, the United States announced another package of military aid on Monday (August 7) worth $1 billion (£825 million). The announcement has led to speculation that the US could send longer-range HIMARS ammunition. The package is confirmed to contain more HIMARS ammunition, however, the Department of Defense did not specify which type.
Currently, Ukraine has access to Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) for the guns which hold six rockets with a range of around 50 to 75 miles.
However, HIMARS are able to equip Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) – which fire a single missile with a range of more than 185 miles.
So far, the US has ruled out giving Ukraine those longer-range weapons due to fears that they would strike deep inside of Russia and escalate the conflict – possibly drawing in NATO.
However, news of the increase in aid has led some experts to speculate that the US may finally be willing to supply the ATACMS systems to Ukraine.
Former US Navy Seal and bestselling author Chuck Pfarrer claimed that sources had said that the US may soon decide to send the long-range ammo.
He said in a tweet: “HIMARS DEADLY PUNCH: Sources indicate that the US may soon send MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine.
“These weapons will permit Ukraine to hit high value Russian targets at ranges in excess of 190 mi (300 km).”
The comments come after US Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin told CNN that there was bipartisan support for sending Ukraine the long-range systems.
Jack Detsch a National Security reporter for the magazine Foreign Policy, however, warned that the munitions would not likely be in the most recent military aid package.
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The further ammunition and supply dumps can be pushed back, the harder it will be for Moscow to keep its forces supplied in the face of Ukrainian counterattacks.
The latest aid package brings total US military assistance to Ukraine since Joe Biden took office to $9.8 billion (£8 billion), most of that since the Russian invasion in February.
In addition to more ammunition for the HIMARS, the package includes 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery shells which Ukraine desperately needs.
It also includes surface-to-air missiles, 1000 Javelin anti-tank launchers and medical supplies among other equipment.