Ukraine gets more U.S., German rocket launcher systems – minister

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov waits for the start of the Ukraine Defense Advisory Group meeting hosted by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine escalates pursues, at the American air base in Ramstein, Germany, April 26, 2022. REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach

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Aug 1 (Reuters) – Ukraine has received more German- and U.S.-made multiple rocket launcher systems, as part of a series of high-precision heavy weapons deliveries pledged by its allies, its leader said on Monday. Defense Minister.

The government in Kyiv has repeatedly pleaded with the West to send in more long-range artillery as it attempts to turn the tide in the February 24 Russian invasion and attack supply lines and Russian ammunition depots.

Moscow accused the West of prolonging the conflict by giving Ukraine more weapons, and said the supply of longer-range weapons justified Russia’s attempts to extend control over more Ukrainian territory for his own protection.

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Ukraine received four American-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.

“Grateful to @POTUS and @SecDef Lloyd Austin III and the (American) people for strengthening #UAarmy,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

HIMARS have a longer range and are more accurate than Soviet-era Ukrainian anti-rocket artillery, allowing Ukrainian forces to hit Russian targets that were previously inaccessible.

According to expert estimates, Ukraine already operates up to a dozen HIMARS systems. The Ukrainian army also received three MLRS MARS II, the German version of the US-made M270 multiple launch rocket system. The delivery was announced by Christina Lambrecht, the German Defense Minister, on July 26.

“The third brother of the Long Hand family – MLRS MARS II from Germany – has arrived in Ukraine,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

According to the specifications of its manufacturer Kraus-Maffei Wegmann (600579.SS), the MLRS MARS II can hit targets at a range of up to 70 km (43 miles), depending on the type of ammunition it uses.

It is designed to destroy troops and equipment, air defenses, command posts and communications, and to lay minefields.

Ukraine has so far received German Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers. Lambrecht also announced on July 26 the delivery of five Gepard anti-aircraft systems.

Kyiv has previously said it needs 1,000 howitzers, 500 tanks and 1,000 drones, among other heavy weapons, to repel Russian troops.

Other countries that have supplied Ukraine with artillery systems include the United States, Great Britain, France, Norway and Poland.

Russia has described its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor. Ukraine and the West dismissed this as a baseless pretext for war.

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Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Andrew Heavens

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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