WASHINGTON — Ukraine expects an important decision from Washington: which of the two Harpoon or NSM anti-ship missiles will get Kyiv to try to deal with Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea and solve the important problem of Ukrainian grain exports. The information is unofficial and refers to sources from Washington circles, who were quoted by Reuters.
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They [sources] say that the political circles in the American capital are trying to provide Ukraine with high-precision and precise anti-ship missiles. Experts say the possibility of Harpoon found itself in the armed forces of Ukraine and small. The reasons are many, some technical, some political.
One of the main reasons Harpoon did not end up in Ukraine is that it is mostly a sea-based weapons platform and there are almost no offshore platforms to launch this missile. Another reason is the possibility of Russia responding with greater aggression if Harpoon finds itself in Ukraine. Some experts and political analysts say some countries are currently ready to provide Harpoon to Kyiv, but the fear of a Russian response is the reason they are not.
Kongsberg NSM is an option
The same Reuters sources believe that the Norwegian Kongsberg NSM missile seems like a better solution. The Americans believe that 14 days will be enough for the Ukrainians to train and master them. NSM coastal complexes already exist. Norway could supply a number of these complexes, but for that to happen, permission must be obtained from the State Department.
Naval Strike Missile [NSM] is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace [KDA]. The missile is in service in Norway, Poland, the United States, and Germany. It is powered by a solid-fuel rocket booster, microturbo TRI-40 turbojet, the operating range is 185 km [115 mi; 100 nmi], and develops supersonic speed. The missile uses inertial, GPS, terrain-reference navigation, imaging infrared homing, and target database.
ML2 M270 and HIMARS
However, Ukraine expects an answer to another question: will it receive the much-coveted ML2 M270 and HIMARS artillery weapon systems from the United States. The answer may come soon, as Congress is about to vote on a new $ 40 billion package of arms aid. If the vote goes in Ukraine’s favor, the United States will provide ML2 M270 and HIMARS without consulting Congress, as it is legally entitled to provide weapons technology that are US stockpiles worth up to $ 11 billion.
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