Espreso. Global

What are these missiles with cluster bombs the US can supply to Ukraine?

12 September, 2023 Tuesday
18:09

The US is close to deciding whether to provide Ukraine with new long-range ballistic missiles equipped with cluster munitions, according to Reuters

Defense Express writes about it. 

The Biden administration is nearing a decision on transferring missiles with cluster munitions to Ukraine. After Ukraine's successful use of cluster 155-mm DPICM projectiles, the White House is considering providing Ukraine with either GMLRS or ATACMS cluster-equipped missiles. However, President Biden is cautious about escalating tensions and has not rushed the decision, as reported by Reuters.

An infographic showing the entire arsenal of up to M270A1 and M142 HIMARS, image from open sources

Specifically, the term "GMLRS-type" likely refers to M26 unguided rockets with a limited range of 45 km. These rockets have a cluster warhead and are considered more powerful than DPICM cluster 155 mm projectiles.

Regarding ATACMS missiles with cluster equipment, there might be two options:

  • ATACMS Block I (M39, MGM-140, or MGM-140A) with a range of 165 km, a cluster warhead weighing 570 kg, and 950 M74 submunitions. Each submunition can cover up to 15 square meters, with a probable deviation from the target of up to 250 meters. The guidance system is inertial, using a laser gyroscope.
  • ATACMS Block IA (M39A1) with an extended range of 290 km, a reduced warhead weight of 150 kg, and 300 M74 submunitions. It utilizes a combined guidance system.

The decision to transfer these missiles to Ukraine could have significant implications in the ongoing war.

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