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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

U.S. HIMARS, M270 Rockets, and M777 Howitzers Are Powering Ukraine’s Offensive

HIMARS in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
HIMARS. This is similar to what is being used in Ukraine.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been raging for 190 days, and now the Ukrainian forces are striking back. The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south is in full steam, and the Ukrainian forces are advancing toward the strategic city of Kherson.

The Ukrainian ground thrusts are being supported by intensive long-range fires, including from M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), M270 Multiple Long Range Systems (MLRS), and M777 155mm Howitzers, which are targeting and taking out the Russian supply and communication lines.

The Russian Casualties in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 48,350 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 234 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 205 attack and transport helicopters, 1,997 tanks, 1,115 artillery pieces, 4,345 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 287 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,239 vehicles and fuel tanks, 153 anti-aircraft batteries, 849 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 104 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 196 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties across the battlefield. The Ukrainian counteroffensive is taking an extremely heavy toll on the Russian forces.

For example, over the last 24 hours alone, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that its troops killed 450 Russian troops and destroyed 23 tanks, 33 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, and 24 artillery pieces. And in the past two days, the Ukrainians are claiming that they have killed 800 Russian troops and destroyed 43 tanks, 51 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, and 36 artillery pieces.

These are unsustainable casualties for a military that is struggling with extreme force generation issues and a war with no end in sight. As the conflict drags on, the Russian military will continue to lose its effectiveness and thus the ability to conduct successful offensive ground operations. Unless the Kremlin finds a solution, the Russian military will certainly struggle to achieve Moscow’s revised campaign objectives of capturing the whole of the Donbas—that is the Donetsk province since the Russian military and its pro-Russian separatist allies are in control of Luhansk.

High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles in Ukraine

Although it initially denied reports that it had provided Ukraine with advanced anti-radiation missiles, the Pentagon has now acknowledged the shipment of an unspecified number of AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs) to Kyiv.

And now footage has emerged showing Ukrainian pilots deploying HARMs against Russian air defense systems.

Open-source intelligence suggests that the Ukrainian military has used the AGM-88 HARM to take out Russian ground radar facilities and S-300 and S-400 air defense systems.

“A substantial, sustained degradation of Russia’s radars with HARMs would be a major set-back to Russia’s already troubled situational awareness,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate on the war.

The AGM-88 HARM is designed to locate and destroy radars by locking on their emitted radiation.

Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.