‘US slap’ for Russia: HIMARS destroyed S-400 on Russian soil

The Ukrainians successfully struck a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system in the Belgorod region, utilizing GMLRS missiles from HIMARS launchers. This strike reportedly destroyed at least two missile launchers and a command center, with coordination assistance from U.S. “advisors.” 

A video showcases the aftermath of the attack, with Russian authorities reporting no personnel casualties. This recent operation is reminiscent of a previous strike in Donetsk, where Ukrainian ATACMS missiles obliterated multiple S-400 sites. It appears the Ukrainians have been keenly awaiting Western approval to launch persistent attacks on targets within Russian territory.

Operation in Donetsk

'US slap' for Russia: HIMARS destroyed S-400 on Russian soil
Photo credit: Telegram

A video released on May 24 showcases the destruction of a Russian S-400 system by US-made tactical ballistic missiles, shared by Ukrainian forces. 

Located in the Mospine area of Donetsk, the Russian forces fired anti-ballistic missiles in an attempt to intercept the incoming threat. However, they failed to neutralize the ATACMS missiles due to their continuous and unpredictable changes in direction and altitude. 

In this specific attack, two S-300/400 quadruple anti-aircraft missile systems were annihilated, along with significant damage to one S-300/400 anti-aircraft launcher. Additionally, the 96L6E radar system and the control post for the S-300/400 air defense system were also destroyed.

'US slap' for Russia: HIMARS destroyed S-400 on Russian soil
Photo credit: Twitter

HIMARS

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System [HIMARS] is a versatile and highly mobile rocket launcher system developed by the United States. It is designed to provide responsive, precision firepower to support ground troops. HIMARS is mounted on a standard Army Medium Tactical Vehicle [MTV] truck frame, which allows it to be rapidly deployed and repositioned on the battlefield. 

In terms of dimensions, the HIMARS vehicle is approximately 23 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 10 feet high. This compact size allows it to be transported by C-130 aircraft, providing strategic mobility. The system’s weight is around 16.2 tons, making it lighter and more agile compared to other artillery systems. 

m142 himars mlrs lockeed martin
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

HIMARS is equipped with a fire control system that includes a ruggedized computer and GPS to ensure accurate targeting. The launcher can carry either six Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System [GMLRS] rockets or one Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS] missile. The system’s advanced targeting capabilities allow for precision strikes with minimal collateral damage.

GMLRS and ATACMS

The propulsion and chassis of HIMARS are based on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles [FMTV] 5-ton truck. This provides the system with excellent off-road capabilities and a high degree of mobility. The truck is powered by a diesel engine, which offers a balance of power and fuel efficiency, essential for extended operations in diverse terrains. 

m142-himars-155-mm-artillery
Photo credit: Twitter

The types of equipment used in HIMARS include the Universal Fire Control System [UFCS], which integrates with various sensors and communication systems to enhance situational awareness and command and control. Additionally, the launcher is equipped with a hydraulic system for rapid reloading and a climate control system to ensure operational readiness in various environmental conditions. 

HIMARS can launch several types of missiles, primarily the GMLRS and ATACMS. The GMLRS rockets are known for their precision and extended range, capable of striking targets up to 70 kilometers away. The ATACMS missiles, on the other hand, offer a longer range of up to 300 kilometers and are designed for high-value targets, such as command centers and air defense systems. These capabilities make HIMARS a critical asset in modern warfare, providing both tactical and strategic firepower.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

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

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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