Many military analysts believe that the M142 “HIMARS” high mobility rocket system provided by the US government to Ukraine is rapidly changing the battlefield situation, but the Ukrainian government has stated that it needs more “HIMARS”, if the Ukrainian Army has at least 50 HIMARS systems they can stop the Russian offensive, and if they managed to get 100 units of HIMARS, they can easily launch a massive counter offensive operation against the Russian Army.
As far as the current situation is concerned, in addition to the nine M270 rocket launch systems provided by the United Kingdom and other countries, the US government is also gradually increasing the number of “HIMARS” assistance to Ukraine. The Ukrainian army is currently operating a total number of 12 HIMARS systems. The United States have planned to supply a additional number of 8 more HIMARS systems as as part of the military aid being supplied to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War in February.
Although the rockets launched by the HIMARS and M270 MLRS systems are extremely expensive, the cheapest price of a single satellite-guided rocket is approximately 20 million USD, without including additional costs such as shipping, logistics, maintenance, etc. Modern weapons burn too much money. Without the continuous support of NATO, Ukraine cannot afford to pay for such highly expensive military equipments.
The HIMARS Rocket Artillery System has played a irreplaceable role in the service with the Ukrainian Forces, Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznekov announced that with the support of the “HIMARS” rockets, more than 50 Russian military ammunition depots have been destroyed. In addition to “HIMARS”, the Ukrainian army also has BM-27/30 rocket launchers and “Tochka” Ballistic Missiles.
The direct consequence of the destruction of a large number of Russian military ammunition depots is that the “voice” of the Russian artillery on the front line is now weakened. At the same time, the destruction of the transportation line has also caused serious difficulties in the Russian military’s logistics supply and personnel transfer system.
Natalia Gumenyuk, the spokeswoman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Southern Combat Command, recently declared that the Ukrainian army had achieved fire supremacy over key lines of communication of the Russian army, making it impossible for the Russian army to move freely, maneuver or form a new battlegroup. This statement is likely to be true, considering the current fierce fighting that is taking place in the Kherson area, and the exposure of live pictures after the attack on many important bridges by “HIMARS”.
In response, the Russian Ministry of Defense also continuously claimed to have destroyed several numbers of the “HIMARS” rocket launcher, but it was denied by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Pentagon, US Defense Secretary Austin directly stated that all “HIMARS” provided to Ukraine was under the monitoring of the United States.
In addition, the Russian Ministry of Defense also claimed to have destroyed a large warehouse storing NATO weapons and ammunition. The latest statement is that they have destroyed the ammunition depot in the Khmelnitsky region of western Ukraine, which contained “HIMARS” and its ammunition supplies. Although the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has denied the information given by the Russians.
As of now, there has not been any proper evidence that the “HIMARS” provided by the U.S. government to the Ukrainian army has suffered battlefield losses, but it is certain that in the long-term and high-intensity war of attrition during the Russian-Ukrainian war, “HIMARS” like advanced weapons, will suffer from battle damage. However, as long as the Russian army’s elimination speed cannot keep up with the US military aid speed, then Russia army has to keep having a big headache in the form of the HIMARS.
The lack of an effective battlefield monitoring system has made it impossible to locate and eliminate the “HIMARS” of the Ukrainian army. As early as the Battle of Idlib in Syria, Russian military experts warned the Russian army to learn from the Turkish army, which used UAVs, electronic warfare systems, early warning aircrafts and AIM-120 missiles to give Russian troops stationed in Syria a good job. A lesson, tell the Russian army what is the real war in the 21st century. But the question is, even if the Russian army realizes its own shortcomings, can it make up for the solutions of its shortcomings? If it were that easy, it wouldn’t be a problem on the battlefield.