Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Thursday said that Ukraine had received the delivery of US-provided rocket systems, known as High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
“HIMARS have arrived to Ukraine. Thank you to my colleague and friend @SecDef Lloyd J. Austin III for these powerful tools! Summer will be hot for russian occupiers. And the last one for some of them,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.
The US pledged four HIMARS to Ukraine in a $700 million weapons package that was announced on June 1. Reznikov didn’t specify how many rocket systems have arrived in Ukraine. US officials said Thursday that another four HIMARS will be headed to Ukraine under the next arms package.
It’s not clear how much training Ukrainian forces have received on the HIMARS at this point. The Pentagon estimated it would take three or four weeks to train a single platoon on how to use the weapons, but that timeline is the best-case scenario. The US has been training Ukrainian forces in Germany and other undisclosed locations in Europe.
US officials said the HIMARS are equipped with rockets capable of hitting targets about 50 miles away, although they could be fitted with longer-range munitions in the future. The US said it received “assurances” from Ukrainian officials that the weapons won’t be used to hit Russian territory.
But the assurances from Ukrainian officials don’t mean much as the US reportedly doesn’t know where the weapons it’s sending into Ukraine are going, and the Pentagon is funneling billions in arms into the war zone with virtually no oversight.
Russian officials have strongly warned against the West providing Kyiv with such weapons and said it would result in Russia’s military launching more strikes on areas it hasn’t been targeting.