MGM-140A ATACMS: its power, range, and quantity
The MGM-140A, known as the M39 ballistic missile or ATACMS Block I, packs a punch with 950 M74 elements. It can strike targets up to 165 km away, making it a formidable weapon in the Ukrainian arsenal
Defense Express writes about it.
Ukraine's Armed Forces have officially unveiled the MGM-140A, an ATACMS Block I missile, capable of striking targets up to 165 km away. Recent photographs from Russia have left no doubt about this missile's identity, revealing its serial number, production date (November 1996), and the label "MGM-140A."
This particular version boasts the largest warhead among ATACMS missiles, carrying 950 M74 subelements, which scatter over the target area upon impact.
Contrary to some online claims of a 128 km range, the MGM-140A indeed reaches 165 km. The confusion may stem from older data when some of these missiles were repurposed with a unitary high-explosive warhead, decreasing their numbers.
The Pentagon's 2007 data indicated over 1,000 of these missiles in U.S. Army depots. However, many underwent modifications over the years, reducing this number. Unfortunately, specifics remain undisclosed, including the pace of these modifications.
It's uncertain whether Ukraine received only the M39 or the longer-range M39A1 with a 300 km reach or the unitary M57 with similar capabilities.
With a 165 km range, potential targets within striking distance include airfields near Berdyansk, Luhansk, and Dzhankoy, as well as other vital sites throughout occupied Ukrainian territory.
Expanding to a 300 km range covers the entire occupied area. However, effectiveness depends not only on the missile's capabilities but also on its quantity. As Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate, emphasized, a mere 100 missiles won't significantly alter the situation. Ukraine needs a substantial ATACMS arsenal to make a strategic impact.