White House Will Send Longer-Range Missiles to Ukraine: Reuters reported on January 31 that the United States is preparing another round of military aid for Ukraine, this time worth more than $2 billion.
The newest aid package will not only provide the ammunition and weapons necessary to allow Ukraine to continue resisting Russian forces but is also expected to include longer-range rockets.
Two unnamed U.S. officials familiar with the plans told Reuters that the plans were expected to be announced as soon as this week, though no official confirmation had been made by Thursday, February 2.
One aid told the outlet how some $1.725 out of the $2 billion aid package would be taken from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
This fund allows the White House to procure weapons and ammunition from private companies rather than from the United States military’s own stocks.
What Missiles Are Headed to Ukraine?
The United States is expected to send the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), a Boeing-manufactured precision bomb that can be fitted onto existing rockets. The rockets in question, according to the anonymous sources, will be fitted with M26 motor – a common rocket motor used by the United States military.
The weapon would allow Ukrainian forces to strike targets at a distance of 94 miles.
Striking further into Russian-controlled territory would allow Ukrainian troops to disrupt Russian advances ahead of a new offensive expected to arrive in the spring.
In November, reports revealed how the White House was considering a proposal from Boeing to send the weapons to Ukraine.
No ATACMS This Time
While the new long-range rockets could potentially double the range of Ukrainian missile systems, the United States will not be sending ATACMS missile systems that Kyiv has requested repeatedly since the early days of the war.
The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is an American surface-to-surface missile manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The missile system has a range of 190 miles, which is significantly more than all missile systems currently in use in Ukraine.
The missile system would allow Ukrainian forces to effortlessly strike behind enemy lines, potentially into the Crimean peninsula and certainly onto Russian soil to the northeast.
In January, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, revealed how the White House doesn’t believe that sending the long-range missile systems would be a smart move or even necessary for Ukraine to win.
“Our view is that we think the Ukrainians can change the dynamic on the battlefield and achieve the type of effects they want to push the Russians back without ATACMS,” Kahl said.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He 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.