Russia has taken control of one HIMARS MLRS, the media claim
MOSCOW ($1=57.00 Russian Rubles) — Control of an American MLRS HIMARS provided to Ukraine by the United States has been taken over by the armed forces of Russia, say the media, mainly Russian. According to sources [not saying what sources, not naming names, not even mentioning the public, political or military status of the sources], the rocket system has already been transported to Russia, without mentioning whether this HIMARS MLRS has been sold or captured during hostilities.
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The initial information came from the Russian online portal Ruskaya Vesna [in English it means Russian Spring]. After that, several Russian media, among them Gazeta.ru, Vzglyad, and others began to spread the same information. What is interesting in this particular case is that on the Telegram channel of Ruskaya Vesna, Russian users are inviting the media to publish photos as evidence of Russian control over the American system. Such photos, not even one, have not been published.
At this time, there is no official information from the Russian Ministry of Defense to confirm the Russian media story. Beyond speculation, experts note that if the news is true, this MLRS could be a significant loss for Washington, as it would allow Russian specialists to develop ways to counter such installations.
On July 6, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced in a press release that the Russian armed forces have carried out airstrikes in the area of the settlement of Malotaranovka in the Donetsk region.
According to the Russian MoD statement, the strikes were carried out with precision air-launched missiles [unspecified how many] and destroyed two US-made and Ukraine-supplied HIMARS light multiple rocket launchers and two ammunition depots for them. The Russian news agency TASS also reported the news, citing the report of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for July 6, 2022.
The Ministry of the Russian Federation shares a video with air strikes on the night and early morning on 6 July.
Ukraine has no right to use the American HIMARS missile systems to strike the Russian Federation territory. This is a requirement of Washington, which was explicitly laid down as an agreement between the US and Ukraine to fulfill the delivery of the weapons systems.
“It’s true, I’m not hiding it. We have made a commitment that we will not use high-precision weapons against Russian facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in an interview with BBC and continued: “We have witnessed this everywhere, even I personally did so in a letter addressed to my colleague, the head of the Pentagon, that we will use American weapons to deter the enemy and de-occupy temporarily occupied lands only on the territory of Ukraine.”
BulgarianMilitary.com recently wrote that this is the reason why the USA is still thinking about whether to provide the Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS] to Ukraine. A senior defense official during a press conference at the Pentagon on July 8, 2022, said: “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. 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.”
In the US, this particular missile is the “red line” that must not be crossed, many political circles in Washington claim. The operational range of this missile is up to 300 km, but it can be increased through upgrades.
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.
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.
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