US Secretly Armed Ukraine With Long-Range ATACMS Last Month

A Biden administration official said that Ukraine has already used the missiles in an attack on a Russian base in Crimea

by Dave DeCamp April 24, 2024 – https://news.antiwar.com/

The US confirmed on Wednesday that it had secretly sent Ukraine long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) last month as part of a $300 million arms package.

The long-range ATACMS can be fired from the HIMARS rocket systems and can hit targets up to 190 miles away, a range that marks a significant escalation in US support for Ukraine. Last year, the US secretly shipped an older cluster bomb variant of the ATACMS that has a range of about 100 miles.

A Biden administration official said Ukraine has already used the longer-range ATACMS twice, including in an attack on a Russian base in Crimea. US-supported attacks on Crimea or the Russian mainland always risk a major escalation from Moscow.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said a “significant number” of the ATACMS have been sent to Ukraine but wouldn’t specify how many. He said more were on the way as part of a $1 billion arms package that President Biden approved on Wednesday, although the Pentagon didn’t list ATACMS when it announced the weapons shipment.

The $95 billion foreign military aid bill President Biden signed into law on Wednesday included a provision that said Ukraine would be sent long-range ATACMS. In response to that news, the Kremlin reaffirmed its long-stated position that it will take more territory in Ukraine to counteract the long-range NATO missiles.