Russian air defense on Wednesday intercepted the highly-rated Army Advanced Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) recently delivered to Ukraine.
The Russian MoD announced Wednesday, "Over the past 24 hours, two U.S.-made ATACMS operational-tactical missiles, one S-200 anti-aircraft missile converted to hit ground targets, as well as two HARM anti-radiation missiles and two U.S.-made HIMARS projectiles were intercepted."
No further details were provided of how and with what air defense system the ATACMS missiles, which are claimed to be difficult to intercept, were brought down.
However, last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin had asserted that his country had the means to intercept the ATACMS missiles which have a reach between 130 to 180 kms which allows them to strike inside Russian territory if launched from Ukraine-held areas close to the war zone.
Earlier on October 18, CNN reported, "The U.S. secretly provided Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles in recent days, according to multiple U.S. officials, providing Ukraine with a significant new capability that could allow its forces to hit new Russian targets that were previously out of reach."
Various Western media reports said that Ukrainian forces used ATACMS to strike two air bases in Russian-occupied territory on October 17 damaging runways and destroying nine helicopters, an ammunition depot, an antiaircraft missile launcher and military equipment. This report has not been acknowledged either by Ukraine or Russia.
The Ukrainian Missile Forces unleashed a volley of five American MGM-140A ATACMS ballistic missiles on Oct. 18 against Russian Berdyansk airfield, causing significant damage to helicopters, personnel, and military infrastructure.