Retired General Mark Hertling, the former commander of US Army Europe, calculated how quickly the Ukrainians would go after the missiles used by the HIMARS systems.
HIMARS systemsPhoto: ABACA / Abaca Press / Profimedia
Hertling recalls that Ukraine first asked for multiple ballistic missiles and says the US decided to send Kiev Himars systems for several reasons.
The M142 HIMARS is a fast vehicle with a top speed of 96 km/h on roads and 48 km/h on rough terrain. M270 (no multiple launchers Given to Ukraine by Britain) is a tracked vehicle designed to carry tanks over rough terrain. It’s slow,” he explains.
He also says that the M270 launcher is more difficult to repair because it has more components. Instead, “HIMARS is basically a pickup truck with missiles. A small group is also easier to train.”
The US general also explains that HIMARS systems can fire, reload and move faster. “The need for rapid maneuvers in eastern Ukraine is an advantage for HIMARS.”
HIMARS systems can launch a large number of missiles in a month
Hertling notes that the United States does not have that many HIMARS systems in place, with estimates based on publicly available information putting the number at about 500.
“Not only can you find HIMARS at Costco (America’s largest wholesaler)…all are in Army/Navy units and are needed for contingency plans. But there is another important factor that journalists do not think about: instead of focusing on HIMARS systems, focus on launched missiles! They are an important factor,” he says.
The general then does some math: each HIMARS system fires at least two rounds per day. Each cartridge holds 6 missiles, which means each Himars can fire 12 missiles per day.
The 16 HIMARS systems initially acquired by Ukraine will launch a total of 192 missiles per day. The number of missiles fired in a month will reach about 5,800 and with an accuracy rate of 90%, will destroy about 5,200 targets.
Pentagon last Friday announced It will send 4 more HIMARS systems to Ukraine, which means that the number of missiles launched daily by the Ukrainian armed forces will increase even more.
Ukrainian armed forces can move quickly with US-made missiles
Hertling says the United States has a stockpile of GMLRS “smart” missiles used by HIMARS systems, but their manufacturer has a production capacity of about 9,000 per year, meaning Ukraine can launch all US-made missiles of this type. Less than two months.
He says the Defense Department in Washington and all the countries that supply Ukraine with multiple ballistic missiles are wondering how much risk it would pose to give Ukraine multiple smart weapons.
“What happens in the future, if we face this enemy or another in a conflict? I’m 100% sure that I don’t have all the elements in my decision-making. But I’m also sure that people who say, ‘Give Ukraine everything they ask for,’ are not taking into account many important factors related to US national security. Hope so,” he added.
“Basic: I think the secretary [american] Defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and NATO member states are exercising caution in the decision-making process regarding equipment that can be sent to Ukraine and transform the battlefield,” he concludes.
An analysis According to a press release from The Washington Post last week, President Joe Biden’s administration is sending Himars systems to Ukraine “on a whim” as it waits to see how they are used by the Ukrainian armed forces and what its reaction will be. Russians.
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