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CNN: HIMARS become less effective in Ukraine due to Russia's jamming

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 5, 2023 8:56 PM 2 min read
A soldier runs past a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during Dynamic Front military exercise led by the United States in the Oksbol training area, Denmark, on March 30, 2023. (Sergei Gapon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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In recent months, Russia has been blocking the U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) used by the Ukrainian army more frequently, making them less effective, CNN reported on May 5, citing people familiar with the matter.

Russian forces use electronic jammers to disable the system's GPS targeting mechanism, causing the missiles to miss the target, the media outlet wrote.

According to CNN's sources, U.S. and Ukrainian officials are forced to search for ways of configuring the HIMARS software to counter Russia's growing jamming efforts.

"It's a constant cat-and-mouse game," only to have Russian forces counteract those countermeasures later, an unnamed Pentagon official told CNN.

Ukraine has so far received 20 HIMARS from the U.S., with 18 more to be delivered over the next few years as part of a $1 billion U.S. arms package.

The GPS-guided rockets of the HIMARS system, able to hit targets at long range with pinpoint accuracy, have been credited with turning the tide of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has been using the systems for precise strikes on Russia's military ammunition depots and supply routes in the Russian-occupied territories.

However, the HIMARS missiles that Ukraine currently uses have a range of 80 kilometers and cannot reach many of the Russian-occupied areas.

The U.S. has been reluctant to provide Ukrainian forces with long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which Ukraine has been requesting for months. ATACMS have a range of up to 300 kilometers.

Why is Russia so vulnerable to HIMARS in Ukraine?
It’s been nearly a month since U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, had their long-awaited debut in Ukraine, but their combat record is already extensive. Using all the heavy and long-range weaponry available to it, including HIMARS, Ukraine began a campaign that has dest…

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