Pentagon Announces $1.9B Contract for HIMARS Rocket Systems

First attack on Russian territory with U.S.-supplied HIMARS in two years reported
  • bureau
  • 06:09 AM, June 4, 2024
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Pentagon Announces $1.9B Contract for HIMARS Rocket Systems
Ukrainian HIMARS rocket launcher @Ukraine MoD

The Pentagon has awarded a contract valued at approximately $1.9 billion for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), with work expected to be completed by May 31, 2028.

This contract announcement coincides with reports from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) indicating that Ukrainian forces have likely used American-supplied HIMARS to destroy air defenses inside Russia. This marks the first instance in two years of Ukraine utilizing U.S.-supplied weapons for an attack within Russian territory.

According to Russian sources, nearly 40 explosions were reported in Belgorod oblast within a 15-minute period.

The barrage reportedly targeted a Russian S-300/400 air defense battery on June 1 or 2, the U.S.-based thinktank said. “Russian sources have increasingly claimed that Ukrainian forces are using HIMARS to strike Belgorod oblast since the U.S. partially lifted its restrictions on Ukraine’s ability to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike military targets in Russian border areas with Kharkiv oblast. Russian sources will likely continue to characterize any successful strike in Belgorod Oblast as a HIMARS strike regardless of the system used,” it added.

The S-300/400 air defense system was located roughly 60 kilometers from the current frontline in northern Kharkiv Oblast and over 80 kilometers from Kharkiv City, which is within the range of HIMARS but exceeds the range of other MLRS systems that Ukrainian forces reportedly use to conduct strikes into Belgorod Oblast, ISW further stated.

Despite these claims, Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the strike.

A few days ago, Russia’s defense ministry stated that HIMARS was “no longer considered a difficult target” due to the effectiveness of the Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile system. A confidential Ukrainian assessment revealed that Russian electronic jamming has degraded the effectiveness of U.S.-supplied weapons like HIMARS and Excalibur artillery shells, causing them to miss their targets. The jamming disrupts satellite signals, impacting the precision of these munitions.

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