Russian S-400 missile system isn’t able to intercept HIMARS rocket

KYIV ($1=29.51 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted a tweet on its official Twitter account claiming that the Russian S-400 air defense system was unable to intercept a missile fired by HIMARS. A similar statement was made by Anton Gerashchenko, who is an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

Russian S-400 missile system isn't able to intercept HIMARS rocket
Screenshot

“Russian Armed Forces, their ammunition and fuel warehouses are completely unprotected from the power of American weapons,” both the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and Gerashchenko said in their comments. At the moment, there is no refutation of this claim by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Ukraine received four 227mm M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems [HIMARS] from the USA and at least as many more are on their way to Ukraine. However, Ukraine is receiving shorter-range munitions.

Without ATACMS in Ukraine

Currently, there are no Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS] deployed on the territory of Ukraine, and the probability that they will be deployed in the future is small. This is made clear by the statement of a senior defense official during a press conference at the Pentagon on July 8, 2022.

Despite rumors, US may not provide Ukraine with 300km-range ATACMS
Photo credit: Wikipedia

They [Ukrainians – ed.] have asked for capabilities to help them prosecute the — the current battle in the Donbas, and that is what we are providing with the HIMARS and the GMLRS,” said the senior defense official in response to a question of a journalist.

The Pentagon’s official response makes it clear that for the US, providing the ATACMS is a “red line” that they cannot cross, especially because with such a missile system, the Ukrainians will have the opportunity to attack the territory of the Russian Federation, something that Washington does not want, as it will not only deepen the conflict but most likely go beyond the borders of Ukraine.

“This would be a completely new capability [ATACMS in Ukraine – ed]. This would open up all sorts of possibilities, including the removal of the Crimean bridge. Perhaps this is an escalation that the US is afraid of,” experts commented on BulgarianMilitary.com, continuing “ATACMS is a maneuvering missile, meaning it´s hard to shoot down. Russia has already shown its inability to shoot down GMLRS 31 missiles that HIMARS uses. It is also very accurate. Might take several hits tho.”

About ATACMS

ATACMS is a tactical ballistic missile. It was put into service in the early 1990s, and currently, only four countries have the privilege of being armed with it: the United States, South Korea, Turkey, and Greece.

As it has already become clear, the range of the missile is 300 km, but to be more precise: during tests, it achieved an operational capability of 310-320 km. The missile has documented participation in several conflicts: Persian Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War.

Its main characteristics are as follows: its wingspan is 55 inches [1.4 m], its flight ceiling is 160,000 ft [50 km], its maximum speed is in excess of Mach 3 [0.6 mi/s; 1.0 km/s], and the missile’s guidance system is configured by GPS-aided inertial navigation guidance.

M142 is already in use in Ukraine

BulgarianMilitary.com reported on Jylu 4 that, a video shared on social media officially proved the use of at least one M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System [HIMARS] by the armed forces of Ukraine. In a video directed by the Ukrainian military, an M142 stops on the road deploys, and begins firing.

Official: Video shows the first use of M142 HIMARS by Ukraine
Photo credit: Own sources

There is no official information on when the video was shot, but its source claims that the recorded shooting took place in the Zaporizhzhia axis. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Ukraine received M142 high mobility artillery rocket systems as part of the military aid from the US, which continues to increase with each passing month.

About M142 HIMARS

The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System [HIMARS] is a light multiple rocket launcher designed in the late 1990s. This system also falls into the category of tactical ballistic system, because it fires a missile type MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS].

The manufacturer of M142 HIMARS is Lockheed Martin. The system has documented participation in three wars: the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the Syrian Civil War. According to unconfirmed information and according to the claims of Ukraine’s military intelligence, the M142 HIMARS was delivered by the United States to the Ukrainian armed forces, and the system is actively involved in the war against Russia.

Russia announced that it had destroyed two US-made HIMARS MRLs
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The United States, Singapore, the UAE, Jordan, and Romania are the operators of M142 HIMARS at the moment. Poland is the next country to acquire [or has already acquired] this missile system, and potential customers of M142 HIMARS are at least ten other countries from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

M142 HIMARS launches 227 mm caliber missiles. Depending on the type of ammunition, the system has a different operating range – from 2 to 300 km and from 300 to 500 km if it uses Precision Strike Missile [PsM] – a missile also manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The crew consists of three people, the main armament is 6 × 227 mm M26, M30 / M31 series rockets, or 1 MGM-140 ATACMS missile.

The M142 HIMARS is mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame. It is powered by a diesel engine that guarantees a top speed of 85 km / h [52.8 mph]. With one refueling of the fuel tank, the system can travel just under 500 km.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

Ukraine received M30/M31 rockets with 51lb of PBX-109 high explosives
Photo credit: Think Defence

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.

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