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US approves urgent German-backed sale of 3 HIMARS systems to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 11, 2024 8:17 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian servicemen supervise an M142 HIMARS launching a rocket in the Bakhmut direction in Donetsk Oblast on May 18, 2023. (Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The U.S. State Department approved on May 10 an emergency sale of three HIMARS rocket systems and associated equipment to Ukraine worth $30 million, with Germany providing the funding.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on May 9 that Berlin would purchase three of these systems and hand them to Kyiv.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinked provided justification that "an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the Government of Ukraine of the above defense articles and services in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the congressional review requirements."

The equipment will come from the U.S. Army's stocks.

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War Notes

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by enhancing Ukraine's ability to defend itself and respond to continued Russian aggression," a statement by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency read.

The weapons system – its full name is M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System – is a multiple rocket launcher system mounted to a 6x6 FMTV truck chassis, providing devastating firepower launched from a highly mobile platform.

Its rockets are radar-guided, with a range of around 70 kilometers (over 40 miles). When combined with high mobility, it is the ideal "shoot and scoot" system to target enemy weapons dumps and command posts.

The most recent U.S. defense aid package for Ukraine worth around $400 million contained additional HIMARS systems and ammunition, along with other supplies.

Updated: US unveils $400 million defense aid package for Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden on May 10 authorized a $400 million defense aid package for Ukraine, according to a statement on the White House’s website.
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