Russian ballistic missile misses HIMARS in unstealthed encounter

It appears that a HIMARS MLRS, supplied by the United States to Ukraine, may have incurred some damage, but it is not entirely destroyed. This assertion surfaces in the wake of an announcement made by the Russian Ministry of Defense four days ago concerning the obliteration of the first HIMARS in Ukraine. Today, the same authority proclaimed the destruction of a second HIMARS, fortifying this claim with a video. 

Fascinatingly, the video features a conspicuously large “blank space”. The weapon employed to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting HIMARS is a Russian Iskander ballistic missile. What stands out is the open location of the HIMARS, devoid of any natural covers like foliage, hills, or even sand dunes for safeguarding. As elucidated in the video, a ballistic missile, ostensibly an Iskander according to Russian sources, descends, seemingly falling short of hitting its target. 

Contrary to the video’s dramatic crescendo, the missile detonates at least 20 meters away from the intended target. We lack definitive evidence as to whether the HIMARS is destroyed. Still, let’s carefully examine two factors. First, the observable range makes it highly improbable for the Iskander’s sub-munitions to fully neutralize the American system. Second, according to independent analysts, the HIMARS might have endured damages but maintained its operational status. Interestingly, a separate group of observers introduces an engaging possibility: it might not have been a real HIMARS in the video, but merely a convincing replica.

Russian ballistic missile misses HIMARS in unstealthed encounter
Video screenshot

The first HIMARS

Despite Russia’s assertion that dozens of HIMARS systems have been decimated, there’s no authenticated proof to support these claims. Nonetheless, undeniable verification exists for the first destroyed HIMARS, acknowledged by two nations – the U.S. and Ukraine. 

This particular HIMARS met its fate yet again, at the hands of an Iskander ballistic missile. In both instances, the carelessness of the Ukrainian armed forces played a noteworthy role. The targeted HIMARS were exposed in the open air and fell victim to an Iskander ballistic missile attack. Understand why this reckless strategy of deploying Iskander missiles paints a rather grim picture of the Ukrainian armed forces in this comprehensive article.

NASA: Russia hit Mirgorod MiG-24 base with ballistic missiles - Iskander-M
Photo credit: Reddit

Russians hate HIMARS

The HIMARS, a mobile launching platform designed to house a single launch capsule loaded with six guided multiple launch rocket systems [GMLRS]/MLRS missiles or even an independent Tactical Missile System, offers an impressive ‘shoot and scoot’ feature. This means the ability to materialize at a specific launch location, deliver its payload promptly, and then make a swift exit before opposition forces can muster a counterstrike. 

Attributed to the widely recognized defense giant, Lockheed Martin, the HIMARS hails from the United States. It boasts an impressive range from 5.6 miles to well over 300 miles, with the exact limit varying based on the chosen weaponry. With a proficient crew at the helm, this launching system can be reloaded in a mere four to five minutes, greatly simplified by an integrated tap. Alongside the HIMARS, there’s the MTVR MK37 supply vehicle. This auxiliary vehicle’s role is to transport ammunition for reloading. The prevalent strategy involves dispensing the rocket pods across multiple locations en route.

US retrieves two damaged HIMARS rocket systems for swift repairs
Photo credit: Twitter

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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