Washington is reportedly seeking to supply powerful missiles to help break a Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian ports.
President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly in talks to send more advanced anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to help the former Soviet republic break a Russian naval blockade of its Black Sea ports.
The missiles in question are Harpoon made by Boeing and Naval Strike Missile (NSM) made by Kongsberg and Raytheon Technologies, Reuters quoted three unnamed administrative officials and two congressional sources as saying on Thursday. Discussions are underway on whether the missiles will be sent directly to Kiev or will be handed over through a European ally.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been lobbying his Western backers since April, at least for the supply of harpoon or other missiles with similar capabilities. However, as Reuters noted, countries have avoided Kiev as the first or only nation to supply such weapons. “Fear of Russian retaliation if a ship with a harpoon sinks from their stockpile.”
One “Well stocked” The country is now considering being the first to send such a missile to Ukraine, others may follow, according to the report. The NSM is relatively easy to launch off the coast and has a maximum range of 250 km. NATO allies have mobile ground-based NSM launchers for loans, Reuters said, and the warheads will come from Norway.
The harpoon can destroy a target from a distance of about 300 kilometers, but it is usually used as a ship-to-ship missile and there are several platforms available for launching it from the coast. The United States could try to resolve the issue by pulling a launcher from an American warship, Reuters said. The harpoon travels in a low, marine skimming trajectory and has active radar guidance.
Ukraine has also requested for a Multiple Rocket Launcher System (MRLS), similar to Lockheed Martin’s M270, which could be considered for shipment after the US Senate passed a $ 40 billion aid bill on Thursday. The M270 can hit a target at a distance of 60 km, which is much longer than the existing Howitzer round in Ukraine.
Read more: The ক 40 billion Ukraine aid package has been delayed in the US Congress
Wheat and other Ukrainian exports could go out of the country if the Russian blockade of Odessa and other Black Sea ports is broken. Russian officials have warned that Western weapons are being shipped to Ukraine “Pour oil on the fire” And may give rise to larger conflicts.
During last week’s debate over the huge Ukraine aid bill, U.S. Representative Matt Gates (R-Florida) said that by increasing arms shipments to Kiev and imposing sanctions on Moscow, the Biden administration “Sleepwalking” At war with Russia.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in 2014 after Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the first Minsk agreement and the final recognition of Moscow’s Donetsk and Lugansk’s Donbas republics. The German- and French-brokered Minsk protocol was designed to give special status to isolated territories within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a neutral state that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv has insisted that the Russian invasion was completely unpleasant and has denied claims that they are planning to forcibly retake the two republics.