As they are ready to attack the Russian invaders’ defences in Kherson, Ukrainian forces have received a new missile with the capacity to do damage over an area larger than four football fields in a single blow.
Images from the battlefield appear to reveal that the US has given HIMARS a new type of missile, the M30A1, that may inflict greater harm on both humans and vehicles. This is a missile with a warhead made of roughly 182,000 pieces of tungsten alloy for the US-supplied HIMARS high-maneuver rocket system. Heavy casualties in soldiers and light armoured vehicles were sustained as a result of the M30A1 missile’s explosion on the target and the tungsten shrapnel’s 3,600 km/h flight. The missile was described as “the first munition that can hit a target over a wide region without spitting a lot of unexploded ordnance” by the contractor Lockheed Martin.
The majority of the precision missile arsenal for Ukraine’s current HIMARS system consists of M31 missiles, which are ideal for attacking targets and are around 4 m long with a 22 cm diameter and use GPS signals to find targets such as a command structure or a storage area for weapons.
M31 is a metal shell with 90 kg of explosives that has a range of up to 70 kilometres and produces diamond-shaped shrapnel when launched. This missile’s very low impact makes it unsuitable for use against targets dispersed across a wide region.
The M30A1 missile, in comparison, has a substantially wider coverage range. The extensive use of tungsten alloy organised around an explosive core is the M30A1’s hidden weapon. The Damage Enhancement Materials technology was created by Orbital ATK Corporation and eventually purchased by Northrop GrummanNOC Corporation.
With the help of computer modelling, this technology determines the size, quantity, density, and placement of debris to make sure the warhead has the most possible impact, maybe on a particular kind of target. The M30A1 is said to produce the same level of lethality as the cluster warhead by the developers. Each rocket contains enough tungsten alloy to cover an area the size of four football fields. Images sent to Twitter reveal that some M30A1 missiles with the manufacturer’s batch number and year of production 2017 written on them are lying on the Ukrainian battlefield. Trucks and other motor vehicles can be effectively combated by these new missiles. They pose a serious threat to infantry as well. Shallow trenches are less likely to hold up because M30A1 can explode in the air.
According to some other accounts, Ukraine also employs AT2 anti-tank mines for HIMARS missiles. These mines are visible in photos taken on the battlefield along the roadways around Lyman City. AT2 mines can be deployed manually or by missile attack. The HIMARS missile’s warhead can hold 28 AT2 rounds.
HIMARS and other long-range artillery systems are essential for Ukraine to stop Russian reinforcements and destroy ammo storage facilities. Analysts predicted that Ukraine would employ M31 and M30A1 missiles simultaneously in upcoming operations.
The M30A1 was developed to take the place of earlier cluster bombs and munitions that caused significant damage during the Gulf War but also left behind a lot of unexploded ordnance. Despite the fact that the fight has been over for a while, these devices have claimed the lives of numerous people all over the world. The US developed the M31 to replace its stockpile of M26 missiles, which can launch 600 tiny bombs over a wide area and are known as “steel rain.” On the battlefield, the M26 is effective, although it has the drawback of leaving behind a lot of unexploded bombs.
However, US military leaders have been searching for a weapon that can kill enemy soldiers in shallow trenches over a wide region for years. The M30A1 was created as a result.
This week, the United States said that it would give Ukraine a fresh support package for $625 million, which would include new weapons and gear like 32 Howitzer howitzers, ammo, and missiles, four HIMARS artillery systems, and an armoured vehicle. The transfer would bring the total number of HIMARS systems Ukraine would have to 20.