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The New York Times: The US Has Already Approved the Shipment of Long-Range Multiple Missile Launch Systems to Ukraine

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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to confirm whether the decision has been made.

The Administration of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, would have already approved the shipment of missile launcher systems long-range multiplex to Ukraine, The New York Times reported Friday, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Supply will probably be announced next week, one of the sources confirmed. In this way, Washington would seek to significantly increase Ukraine’s military capabilities, which currently does not have systems of such a scope.

Although the sources did not offer details about the types of missiles involved in the shipment, the media indicates that the delivery could include M31 GMLRS for guided multiple launch missile systems, a high-precision weapon guided by satellite that carries approximately the same amount of explosives as an aerial bomb 500 pounds (about 225 kilos). The range of this type of missile, precisely the one most used by Washington, is more than 40 miles (more than 64 kilometers), the newspaper highlights.

In addition, the White House plans to include truck-mounted Lightweight Multiple Missile Launcher Systems HIMARS, which can carry up to six GMLRS-type missiles and fire them at distances of up to 70 kilometers, or one ATACMS missile at 300 kilometers, or even two PrSM missiles at 499 kilometers , according to the website of the manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Given the scope of the systems, in the Biden Administration there was “certain suspicion” because the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, could see the supply as “ provocative “, says the medium. For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Thursday that sending sophisticated weapons to kyiv, capable of hitting Russian territory, would be a step towards a “unacceptable escalation“.

In any case, the White House wants to present the shipment with reasonable arguments, in the sense that is not providing to Kyiv with weapons to deal blows on Russian territory, the sources told the newspaper.

No confirmation Pentagon official

In parallel, the CNN reported this Thursday that the new military aid package would include the M270 MLRS (capable of firing 12 GMLRS missiles, among other types of ammunition) and the HIMARS. However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refused to confirm whether the decision had been made. “I’m not going to get ahead of where we are in the process. […] I am not going to anticipate decisions that we have not yet announced or spoken about,” he said at a press conference this Friday.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly requested to be supplied with MLRS systems. After having a telephone conversation with his American counterpart, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmitri Kuleba, wrote this same day on his Twitter account: “Heavy weapons are at the top of our agenda, and more are on the way“.

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