That is the assessment of a former Russian artillery commander regarding the risks of US rocket systems entering the Ukrainian conflict.
According to military analyst Aleksey Sakantsev, a former officer of the Russian rocket and artillery forces, the country’s military cannot utilize electronic suppression of all missiles fired from rocket systems M270 and M142.
Russia faces difficult math.
According to analyst Sakantsev, the Russian military should destroy the aforementioned rocket systems as soon as they reach in Ukraine. Previously, both the US and the UK indicated that they would send to Ukraine M270 and M142 HIMARS rocket artillery systems, as well as rocket projectiles with a range of around 80 kilometers.
“Of all the weapons handed to Ukraine by the West, the M270 and HIMARS are the most hazardous and have the potential to effect the war more than any other weapon in the current Ukrainian army,” Mr. Sakantsev stated.
The announcement that the United States and the United Kingdom will provide rocket artillery support to Ukraine comes just days after the Kiev government sought long-range assault weaponry from its Western friends. The administration of US President Joe Biden stalled on this issue until issuing an official decision in early June.
To reduce the possibility of Ukraine employing M270 and HIMARS to target Russian territory, both the US and the UK only give Kiev with conventional rockets with a range of 80 kilometers and GPS-guided rockets such as the M31A1.
According to Sakantsev, M270 and HIMARS were both created in response to US military requirements. The main distinction between both is that the M270 is mounted on a crawler chassis, whilst the HIMARS is mounted on a wheeled chassis.
“These weapons systems have a rapid reload system and a nearly identical structure, including the fire control system.” “This is a huge benefit for Ukraine in terms of logistics, training, and equipment repair,” Sakantsev added. Western rocket systems, such as the M270 and HIMARS, can employ a wide range of rockets and missiles. There are three primary ammunition variants with calibers ranging from 227 mm to 240 mm and ranges ranging from 45 km to 70 km.
The fact that the M270 and HIMARS both shoot guided rockets with exceptionally low deviation GPS leads could give Russian generals headaches. Thanks to this sort of missile, Ukraine may perform total surprise strikes on Russia’s rear and escape without fear of retribution.
The two Western rocket artillery systems, according to Sakantsev, not only help Ukraine “respond fairly” to Russian forces on the battlefield, but also have the capability to destroy rear areas inside Russian territory, such as military bases, warehouses, headquarters, troop gathering points, air defense battlefields, and artillery battlefields.
Another advantage of the US HIMARS system, according to Mr. Sakantsev, is its high mobility with a wheeled chassis, which may easily be camouflaged as a standard vehicle to escape detection.
What will Russia do to counter US missiles?
According to expert Sakantsev, sophisticated air defense systems such as the S-300, S-350, S-400, Buk, Tor-M2, Pantsir-S, and Tunguska can intercept rocket attacks from Western rocket artillery. Shooting down a 4 m long rocket projectile with a 270 mm diameter is no easy task, especially when it has to intercept many targets at once.
The M270 system’s launchers can carry 12 227 mm rocket projectiles each, but HIMARS can only carry six.
Meanwhile, while using electronic warfare weapons to disable guided missiles such as the M270 and HIMARS is theoretically viable, it is not practical in practice.
It’s also worth noting that the M270 and HIMARS can fire tactical assault missiles in addition to rockets. Both can launch MGM-140A Block 1 surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 80 to 130 kilometers for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
M270 and HIMARS are vital targets for the Russian military, according to Sakantsev, and must be destroyed before the adversary can employ this weapon system to strike Russian sites. Russia’s air force, as well as its missile and artillery forces, are capable of quickly neutralizing such threats.