U.S. Confirms Advanced Weapons Harpoon Anti-Ship Weapons Heading to Ukraine –United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed on Monday that 47 nations have agreed to new weapons shipments to Ukraine. The shipments will include anti-ship missiles to help Ukrainian soldiers reclaim control over its ports in the Black Sea.
The move will not only help Ukraine fight Russian invaders but could also potentially help free the 22 million tons of grain currently stuck in Ukrainian ports.
The virtual meeting, which Austin confirmed in a press briefing, was the second such meeting to take place since last month.
“After today’s discussions, I’m pleased to report that we’re intensifying our efforts and, moving forward, we’ll continue to deepen our coordination and cooperation so that Ukraine can sustain and strengthen its battlefield operations,” Austin said in the briefing, adding that the combined efforts of NATO countries will “fortify and modernized” the Ukrainian Armed Forces to help deter future aggression from Russia.
The commitment fulfills a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has spent weeks requesting additional anti-ship missiles from any country willing to provide that.
Harpoon: What Weapons Are On Their Way?
Austin confirmed that the anti-ship missiles on their way to Ukraine will be Denmark’s Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The U.S. defense secretary said that he is “especially grateful” to Denmark for the launchers, which will help Ukraine defend and secure its southern coastline.
While the Danish Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the announcement, and it is currently unknown which variation of the Harpoon missile is headed to eastern Europe.
We do know, however, that the missile launcher can be operated from truck-based platforms, on land, and on ships. The missiles have a range of around 150 miles.
Pro-Kremlin Academic Calls Ukraine War a “Rehearsal” For NATO War
Russian political scientist Alexei Fenenko, a research fellow from the Institute of International Security Studies, said during an interview on Russian state television that the war in Ukraine is a “rehearsal” for a larger war between Russia and NATO countries.
“For us, the war in Ukraine is a rehearsal for a possibly larger conflict in the future,” he told Russian media. “And that is why we’ll test and go up against NATO weapons, and will see on the battlefield how much stronger our weapons really are compared to theirs.”
The comments are optimistic, to say the least. Russia has lost at least 650 tanks in the Ukraine war so far, along with an additional 3,000 armored vehicles and tens of thousands of soldiers. Soldiers were even forced out of Kyiv and central Ukraine, and after redoubling efforts in the eastern Donbas region, Russia is still struggling to achieve its goal of annexing the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Ukrainian soldiers have achieved all of this without the help of a single NATO troop, and with the support of NATO weapons and ammunition.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.