Russia has destroyed more than 100 US-made rockets for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that were sent to Ukraine.
The rockets were destroyed by Russia’s Aerospace Forces, comprising the air and space branches of its armed forces, in an attack on a Ukrainian ammunition depot on July 24, according to the Russian state news website. RT, which cited a Wednesday report from Russia’s defense ministry. The ammunition depot was located near a settlement called Lyubimovka in the Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine.
In addition to the HIMARS rockets, the Russian Defense Ministry said that reportedly up to 120 Ukrainian soldiers guarding the depot, technical experts and what the RT described how “foreign mercenaries” were killed in the attack.
THE newsweek was unable to independently verify the Russian report or access the Russian Ministry of Defense website in an attempt to view the information firsthand. The Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries were contacted for confirmation and comment.
The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center describes the M142 HIMARS as a “combat-proven, 24/7, lethal, all-weather, wide-spectrum wheeled precision strike weapon system”. and responsive”. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin’s announcement last week that four additional HIMARS would be sent to Ukraine brought the total number of weapons systems supplied or promised to the war-torn country to 16.
It was not immediately clear how significantly the alleged loss of the 100+ HIMARS rockets would affect Ukraine as it continues to fight Russian advances. Both Ukraine and the US have been publicizing the country’s use of HIMARS, which retired US Army General Mark Hertling described last week as a “game changer” in the ongoing war.
A senior US Department of Defense official said at a background briefing at the Pentagon earlier this month that HIMARS is having a “significant impact on what’s happening, on the front lines.” The official, who was not named, also said that the Ukrainian army was “spending a lot of time attacking targets such as ammunition, supplies, other logistical supplies, command and control”, which have “a direct impact on the ability to conduct frontline operations.” .”
This assessment was supported by General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He stressed during a press conference last week that the Ukrainians are “effectively employing” rocket launch systems, “with attacks on Russian command and control nodes, their logistical networks, their field artillery near defense sites and many other targets”.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said while speaking on national television on Monday that his country’s military used US-supplied HIMARS to destroy 50 Russian ammunition depots. A senior US defense official also recently told reporters that Ukraine used HIMARS to destroy more than 100 “high-value” Russian targets such as ammunition depots, long-range artillery positions, command posts, defense sites. air and radar and communication nodes.