U.S. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the United States will send new multiple rocket launch systems (MLRS) to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion and hit “key targets,” in an op-ed published in the New York Times.
“We will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will allow them to more accurately strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Biden stressed.
He explained that the United States has moved “quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weapons and ammunition so that it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table”.
The U.S. president has not specified what type of systems will be sent to Ukraine, but a senior White House official has clarified that they are HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) systems, which are multiple rocket launchers mounted on light armored vehicles.
Officials have stated that the HIMARS will be equipped with munitions that will allow Ukraine to launch rockets to about 80 kilometers, as reported by U.S. broadcaster CNN.
A much shorter range than the maximum of these systems, the so-called M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), is capable of hitting targets some 300 kilometers away.
Biden has reiterated that by sending these missiles, Washington is not encouraging Ukraine to attack beyond its borders toward Russia.
“We are not looking for a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and consider his actions an outrage, the United States will not seek to provoke his ouster in Moscow,” Biden has emphasized.
The White House tenant has confirmed this decision by stressing that although the war in Ukraine will only end through diplomacy, “every negotiation reflects the facts on the ground.”
“As long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not become directly involved in this conflict, neither by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine nor by attacking Russian forces,” the U.S. president said.