Until recently, the United States did not officially confirm the transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine in order to maintain the element of surprise used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to attack Russian positions.
The publication writes that the path to transferring missiles to Ukraine was long and difficult, but the decision to provide the missile was made on August 30. It was decided to transfer missiles of the ATACMS APAM type, capable of firing cluster warheads at 165 km.
The administration’s decision to send the missiles was kept secret for weeks after President Joe Biden made the final decision, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter .
“Their delivery and use marks a major escalation of the administration’s defense of Ukraine, giving Kyiv’s forces a devastating new ability to strike Russian targets far behind the front lines,” Politico writes.
The publication notes that it was these missiles that struck airfields in Berdyansk and Lugansk, where nine Russian helicopters were destroyed. That is why it was decided to remain silent at the official level for as long as possible.
“Washington and Kyiv were concerned that the announcement of the transfer would force Russia to move equipment and ammunition depots further along the front line and out of missile range,” the newspaper notes.
Transfer of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine
ATACMS Block 1 APAM has a range of 165 km and is equipped with a cluster warhead. ATACMS Block I differs from its counterpart, capable of flying 300 km, in that it has a larger number of cassette charges – 950 rather than 300.
Ukraine had been asking for long-range missiles since the start of the full-scale invasion, but the United States refused, likely fearing an escalation of the war with Russia. However, in recent months, discussions about the transfer of ATACMS have resumed, and today the White House officially confirmed the transfer.
Source : РБК-Украина