U.S. President Joe Biden has decided to provide Ukraine with long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) before President Volodymyr Zelensky's recent visit to the U.S., the Financial Times reported on Sept. 23, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The Biden administration chose not to announce the decision publicly “to avoid tipping off the Russians, prompting them to move their supply lines further back from the front line,” a source told the FT.
According to the report, Ukraine will receive a version of ATACMS armed with cluster munitions rather than a single warhead.
Earlier on Sept. 21, NBC News reported that Biden had told Zelensky that Washington would give Ukraine a small number of ATACMS.
The report came shortly after Zelensky’s four-day visit to the United States, during which he met with Biden and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Ukraine has long been campaigning to get ATACMS that can hit targets deep behind the front line at a range of up to 300 kilometers (190 miles).
The missiles can be launched from the M270 multiple rocket launcher or the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).