Five weapons that give Ukraine confidence to wage guerrilla warfare against Russia

Ukraine is not strong enough to confront Russia and guerrilla warfare will be an effective tactic to harm Russia if war breaks out.

The United States and several NATO allies are providing military aid to Ukraine, including a variety of weapons that they hope will stave off a possible Russian invasion.

The US announced it would send $200 million in military aid to Ukraine and revealed plans for Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to ship US-made weapons there. Meanwhile, the UK has delivered 2,000 NLAW short-range anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian army.

However, that amount of aid is only a small drop compared to what Ukraine needs to have to stand up to its neighbour. Although the US and NATO have ruled out direct military deployments to Ukraine, it is likely that NATO will send additional support equipment.

The first is the AGM-148 anti-tank missile. The US has sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, but the country may need to use many more missiles. Javelin is an old missile, but it is still highly effective against tanks.

Previously, the US sold Ukraine 47 launch units (CLUs) and 370 missiles. Ukraine barely has enough Javelins to arm an army brigade, it has nearly 30 brigades as well as a host of smaller units, reservists, and special operations forces.

To be able to fully equip Javelins for combat units of the Ukrainian ground forces will require an order of 1,500 CLU launchers and 5,000 or more missiles.

The second is the M142 High Mobility Artillery Missile System (HIMARS), which is a rocket artillery system consisting of six 227 mm rocket tubes on a truck chassis, creating a mobile but powerful artillery system.

HIMARS can launch a guided missile (GMLRS), a GPS-guided missile with a high-explosive warhead. Ukrainian units can use the HIMARS/GMLRS combination to target Russian Army units behind the front lines, such as headquarters, fuel depots, air defense systems and missile artillery precise navigation.

With a range of more than 60km, HIMARS will weaken the morale of Russian forces in the backline and allow Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia.

The third is the FIM-92 Stinger missile, which is a short-range mobile air defense system (MANPADS). The Stinger man-portable missile weighs more than 15kg, has a range of 4.5km and uses infrared detectors to detect heat scattering of low-flying aircraft.

The Stinger missile will be especially useful in reducing Russia’s advantage in helicopters, both Mi-8/17 transport helicopters and Ka-52 attack helicopters. These helicopters will be used to transport airborne assault troops, as well as provide air support to Russian ground units and hunt Ukrainian tanks.

The Stingers missile is also believed to be useful against the Russian Army’s fleet of 500 drones, including the Orlan-10 – a medium-range drone used to pinpoint locationsthe target for Russian artillery.

Next is the AN/PVS-15 night vision goggles, which are helmet-mounted binocular night vision devices that give users stereoscopic night vision with a 40-degree field of view. The AN/PVS-15 will improve the night combat capabilities of Ukrainian ground forces. They will also be very useful to insurgents and special forces operating behind the Russian front lines.

Fifth is the improvised explosive device, which the United States has spent nearly 20 years, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, against enemies using increasingly sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These devices often use explosives from aircraft bombs, shells and integrate high protection features, are placed along the roads and routes that US forces often move to deal damage.

Russian forces occupying any part of Ukraine would also rely on the local road network, and Ukrainian rebels, aided by American know-how in the use of IEDs, could inflict damage to Russian convoys and security.

American weapons sent to Ukraine must be easy to use, cheap, and difficult for the Russians to destroy. A $77 million F-35 fighter would be the most powerful weapon, but easy to destroy on the ground. However, with the above money, instead of the F-35, switching to missiles, night vision goggles and roadside bombs will help Ukraine cause losses to Russia.

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