By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (July 15, 2022) -- American High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems being used in Ukraine are making an impact on the conflict there between Ukrainians fighting to preserve their national sovereignty and Russian forces who have illegally invaded that country.
The M142 HIMARS system allows for the launching of multiple, precision-guided rockets. Already, the U.S. had provided eight of the systems to Ukraine and last week promised to send an additional four, for a total of 12 of the systems.
During a background briefing today at the Pentagon, a senior military official said the Defense Department believes the HIMARS are having an indirect, but significant impact on front line operations.
"I think there has been significant impact on what's going on, on the front lines," the official said. "If you think about the fact that the Ukrainians have been talking about a number of the targets [they] are hitting ... they're spending a lot of time striking targets like ammunition, supplies, other logistical supplies, command and control. And all those things have a direct impact on the ability to conduct operations on the front line. ... Although they're not shooting the HIMARS at the front lines, they are having a very, very significant effect on that."
The Russians illegally invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The conflict there between the invading Russians and the Ukrainians has been ongoing now for 142 days, the official said. And while the Russians have made some incremental gains, they have been hard earned.
"We assess that Russian forces are limited to incremental if any gains around the northern Donbass, held up by Ukrainian defenses," the official said. "Russian forces continue to employ indiscriminate artillery bombardment along with air and missile strikes."
Near Kharkiv, the official said, the Department assesses that the Ukrainians are continuing to defeat Russian attempts to gain ground. The same is also true in the vicinity of Sloviansk.
The same official also said that the Russians have publicly said they'd also like to move on Sloviansk, but still have not been able to do so.