In a recent development that’s sending shockwaves through the global defense landscape, Ukraine reportedly unleashed the formidable ATACMS MGM-140 tactical missiles. These missiles, discreetly supplied by the United States, were used to target a Russian air base, resulting in the destruction of several helicopters and causing significant damage to the airstrips. The strike, carried out in Berdyansk and Luhansk, both under Russian occupation, has dealt a severe blow to Russian assets in the region.
While the official delivery of the ATACMS MGM-140 missiles to Ukraine has not been publicly acknowledged by the U.S., sources close to the situation have confirmed this critical move. It’s believed that Ukraine received fewer than a dozen of these missiles in recent days, significantly enhancing their long-range strike capabilities and safeguarding Ukrainian troops from immediate threats.
This decision to supply Ukraine with these advanced missiles followed persistent appeals by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and other world leaders. The Biden administration, however, had been cautious about delivering these missiles, fearing they might be used to strike deep into Russian territory, escalating the ongoing conflict.
A turning point occurred when President Biden approved the missile delivery during a White House meeting with President Zelenskyy. While the specific details of the delivery remain undisclosed, including the quantity and timing, it was hinted that only a limited number would be provided.
The ATACMS MGM-140, part of the Army Tactical Missile System, is a family of short-range, surface-to-surface missiles initially developed in the 1980s and introduced into service in the early 1990s. It was conceived to offer military forces a deep-strike capability, allowing engagement of targets beyond the reach of traditional artillery systems. With an impressive range, this missile system can strike deep into enemy territory, becoming a strategic asset in theater-level operations.
The ATACMS is no lightweight when it comes to destruction. It can be outfitted with various warheads, including unitary warheads for precision strikes on specific targets or submunitions capable of dispersing over a wide area, engaging multiple targets or denying an area to the enemy. Launched from platforms like the M270 MLRS and HIMARS, the ATACMS possesses mobility and can be swiftly deployed and fired across different terrains and conditions. Its precision, extended range, and destructive power make it a formidable asset in modern warfare, especially in situations requiring long-range engagements and precision targeting to minimize collateral damage.”