Ukraine has rejected Russian claims that its precision missiles destroyed two launchers of American-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) in Donbass.
“Russian propagandists are actively spreading false reports about the alleged destruction of the American HIMARS artillery system. We emphasize that these messages do not correspond to reality and are nothing more than another Russian fake,” the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted on Twitter June 6.
Kyiv said HIMARS systems are, in fact, “constantly inflicting devastating blows on strategically important points of the enemy, which leads to colossal losses among the equipment, personnel and support of the occupying forces.”
Russian defense ministry spokesman said at a press briefing Wednesday that two HIMARS multiple launch rocket launchers were destroyed in Malotaranovka in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
The U.S. delivered up to 12 HIMARS launchers whose GPS-guided missiles have a range of far more advanced than Ukraine’s existing artillery capabilities, and double that of the M777 howitzers. At roughly 80km, it generally puts HIMARS MLRS out of range of Russia’s own artillery, while placing the Russian batteries at risk.
HIMARS units carry one preloaded pod of six 227mm guided missiles (its predecessor M270 carries two pods), or one large pod loaded with an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical missile. Washington will not supply Ukraine with the ATACMS, which has a range of 300km.
With a small trained crew, the HIMARS MLRS can remove a spent pod and load a fresh one in minutes, without other vehicles helping.
The HIMARS MLRS are expected to contain Russian advances. Having a far greater range than field artillery, the HIMARS are supposed to be the nemesis of tanks and armored vehicles.