ATACMS missiles | What are they and what could they change in the Ukrainian conflict? The United States could send this type of missile this fall, significantly impacting the counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian arms race may be near a turning point. Information is multiplying in the American media according to which President Joe Biden’s authorization for the deployment of long-range missiles known as ATACMS is imminent. His Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, has long demanded this high-precision weaponry, capable of traveling 300 kilometers, a range greater than that of the Storm Shadow/Scalps delivered by the United Kingdom and France. But why now?
César Pintado, professor at the International Campus of Security and Defense (CISDE), points out: “This increase in the stakes is intended to give a push to the war and aim directly not at small territorial gains in adjacent areas, but rather at going directly for Crimea. 2024 is a very sensitive political year. There are elections in the United States and elections to the European Parliament. Other governments may come and the players may change. And the game may not be the same.”
With the arrival of bad weather, the window of opportunity for the counteroffensive narrows. However, some rules of the game must be maintained, at least kyiv’s promise not to use Western weapons inside Russia.
Marina Miron, a researcher at King’s College London, highlights: “In terms of guarantees, there has to be enough confidence that the political leadership has enough control over the military leadership. It does not seem that the political leadership has all the control and all the confidence , because we don’t know how the new Defense Minister (Rustem Umerov) will act, what his strategy will be, what he will pursue.”
In addition to the United States, the Swedish Government is studying sending Gripen fighters to Ukraine, Denmark and the Netherlands will send six dozen F-16s, Germany will deliver 40 Marder armored vehicles and Poland has approved the purchase of nearly 500 HIMARS missile launchers, which use ATACMS, through an investment of almost 10,000 million euros.
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