The US is close to providing Ukraine with long-range missiles called ATACMS. This weapon system, which is also known by the nickname “Attack’ems”, stands for Army Tactical Missile System. It is particularly notable for its impressive range of approximately 180 miles and can be used by the Ukrainian missile launch fleet. President Zelensky’s battlefield commanders have expressed a desire for these missiles for some time. If used tactically, Sky News reports, these weapons could hit Russian supply lines and strategic points in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine relies on ATACMS: independent of fighter jets
While Ukraine already has Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which have a longer range than ATACMS, these are dependent on fighter jets. This is particularly a problem because Ukraine lacks sufficient fighter aircraft. Sky News highlights the tactical advantage of ATACMS as these missiles can be launched from the ground in any weather, particularly from areas close to the front line.
USA still hesitant about Russian reaction
However, the US has concerns about the supply of these weapons. Sky News first mentions fears about how Russia might respond to the use of advanced Western weapons, particularly if they have the potential to operate within Russian territory. Second, there are concerns about the supply of ATACMS, as the American stockpile of these missiles is limited, which may make the US reluctant to supply a larger number to Ukraine.