Warfare is always changing. New pieces of technology and tactics are constantly being developed, as are new strategies and ideas that help push armies across the world into more effective killing machines. While the concept of making something go boom miles away from you might not be the newest scheme on the block, it’s still a [email protected] good one to have in your bag of tricks. From catapults to flaming arrows to missiles and rockets, nations have been using all sorts of long-range weapons for thousands of years, and the HIMARS launchers used by Ukraine help their fighters achieve a more equal footing against their Russian aggressors.
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What Does HIMARS Stand For?
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, is a missile launcher capable of holding and firing multiple rockets at targets up to 50 miles away. A HIMARS rocket is capable of hitting targets several hundred miles away, as well. It’s an incredible tool of destruction and perfect for taking out an enemy long before they ever meet you face-to-face.
HIMARS Army Use Gives Ukraine Hope
If there’s ever going to be a real-life Iron Man, we’re betting it comes from Lockheed Martin because the company is the closest thing to a real-life Stark Industries. And not surprisingly, they’re also the creators of the HIMARS. Many military forces around the world have used the HIMARS since the ‘90s, but it’s the system’s successes in recent wars led by the U.S. and its allies that are sparking hope in Ukraine.
The HIMARS is rocket artillery on steroids. Using GPS technology, an M142 HIMARS is capable of firing off six rockets at a target and hitting them with precision and a harsh payload. But hitting your target is only part of the appeal. Ukrainian forces will not only be able to defend with these accurate missiles but the system can be easily moved after firing at a target.
Having a mobile rocket system capable of deadly force that’s also hard to detect due to advanced maneuverability is a great step in the right direction for Ukrainian forces. Throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed the importance of securing more firepower from more advanced nations such as the U.S. and how such weapons are of vital importance for staving off Russian forces.
“We are fighting for Ukraine to be provided with all the weapons needed to change the nature of the fighting and start moving faster and more confidently toward the expulsion of the occupiers,” said Zelenskyy.
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Nerfed Rockets? Looks That Way
It’s hard to know for sure what any body of government is actually planning these days, but it appears that the United States and many other countries including Ukraine kinda just want all of this whole war thing to stop.
“That’s why I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine,” wrote President Biden.
But ending the war includes reducing the possibility of the war spreading. This is why, if the U.S. is to send advanced rocket systems to Ukraine, it doesn’t want them to be capable of striking targets within Russian borders. Biden would go on to express that the United States wasn’t sending “rocket systems that can strike into Russia.” The rockets being sent were capable of hitting targets that were around 45 miles away for use solely in defending Ukraine, not invading or attacking Russia.
The United States and other NATO members possess HIMARS throughout Europe. Gifting these systems does come with some challenges, but it is an overall easy goal to accomplish and should help hinder Russian forces from advancing further. It should also serve to open up vital routes of travel. In addition to the HIMARS, these packages will also include helicopters, Javelin anti-tank weapon systems, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, vehicles, parts, and more critically needed supplies.
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