The administration is leaning towards sending the system as part of a larger package of military and security assistance to Ukraine. This may be announced soon next week.
Another system that Ukraine is looking for is a high-mobility artillery rocket system known as HIMARS. This is a lightweight wheeled system that can fire many of the same types of ammunition as MLRS.
However, the Biden administration has raised concerns within the National Security Council that Ukraine may use the system to carry out offensive attacks within Russia, regarding whether to send the system. Officials said they had abandoned it for a few weeks.
One of the major problems, according to sources, was the widespread use of rocket systems. MLRS and its lightweight version, HIMARS, can fire up to 300 km, or 186 miles, depending on the type of ammunition. They are fired from mobile vehicles towards land targets. This will make it easier for Ukrainians to attack targets within Russia.
Another major concern within the Biden administration was whether the United States could afford a large number of high-end weapons drawn from military stockpiles, sources said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin blamed when asked if the United States would provide the system on Monday. “I don’t want to anticipate where we are in the process of resource requirements,” he told reporters.
The discussion about MLRS is similar to the one that took place last month before the United States decided to start sending heavier long-range howitzers to Ukraine. Anti-tank missiles and short-range stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and weapon packages focused on firearms and ammunition. At that time, the M777 howitzer had significantly increased range and output compared to previous systems, but even those systems had the highest range of about 25km or 18 miles. The MLRS can fire far more than any gun the United States has ever sent.
One workaround could be to provide Ukraine with a short-range rocket system, which is also under consideration. It won’t take long to train Ukrainians with the rocket launcher system, officials told CNN-probably about two weeks, they said.
All drawdowns from existing inventory include a review of the potential impact on US military readiness. In previous drawdowns, the risk was “relatively low,” said General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Monday. He added that the military is “very, very carefully” monitoring to ensure that stockpiles do not fall below levels that create greater risk.
Concerns grow significantly with more capable and more expensive systems, where the United States does not have that much supply, sources said.
Pentagon officials met with Lockheed Martin’s CEO last week to discuss MLRS supply and increased production, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN. The meeting was led by Bill Laplante, Secretary of Logistics Acquisition Technology.
The UK is still deciding whether to send the system, two officials told CNN, and hope to work with the United States to do so.
On the Ukrainian side, there has been growing dissatisfaction with the indecisiveness of the United States in recent weeks. We believe that when the United States sends the system, other countries will soon follow suit.
Most recently, the Pentagon told Ukraine “we are working on it,” one Ukrainian official said, adding that Ukraine is calling for an “hourly” decision renewal.
“We have a great need for weapons that allow us to engage our enemies over long distances,” said General Valerii Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s Supreme Military Commander. “And this cannot be delayed, because the price of delay is measured by the lives of those who have protected the world. [Russian fascism].. “
When Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was asked on Thursday what was his country’s most urgent need, he replied: “If you really care about Ukraine, weapons, weapons and weapons again. palce”.
“My most disliked phrase is’we’re working on it’. I hate it. Either’we got it’or’it won’t happen’ I want to hear, “he added.
Colorado Democrat Jason Crow, who was part of a parliamentary delegation trip to Kyiv earlier this month, told CNN that the system could help Ukraine gain a lot of momentum against Russia. Told.
“To be honest, I think it could be a game changer,” Crow said not only for offensive attacks but also for defense. He explained that a normal Russian artillery with a range of about 50 km would “never approach” the Ukrainian city center if the MLRS system was placed in the Ukrainian city center. “So it will rob them of their siege tactics,” he said of the Russians.