Report: Biden Administration Debating Sending ATACMs to Ukraine

The missiles have a range of up to 190 miles

The Biden administration is quietly debating whether or not to provide Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which have a range of up to 190 miles, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported at the end of June that the administration was moving closer to providing Ukraine with ATACMS, which would mark a significant escalation of US military aid. But so far, no decision has been made, and some US officials don’t think the Pentagon has enough ATACMS to spare for Ukraine.

The US has been depleting its military stockpiles for Ukraine, which is the excuse the administration used to start giving Ukraine cluster bombs even though they will kill and maim civilians decades after the war.

Before leaving the NATO summit in Lithuania, President Biden appeared to acknowledge that he was considering arming Ukraine with ATACMS. “Yes, but they — they already have the equivalent of ATACMS now,” Biden said when asked if he was thinking of sending the missiles. “What we need most of all is artillery shells, and they’re in short supply. We’re working on that.”

ATACMS can be fired from the HIMARS rocket systems the US has been providing Ukraine. Most of the ammunition Kyiv has for use with the HIMARS has a range of about 50 miles, although the US has also pledged Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB), which can hit targets up to 94 miles away.

US allies have begun providing longer-range missiles to Ukraine, including France, which announced Tuesday it will give Kyiv air-launched SCALP missiles that have a range of 155 miles. The SCALP missiles are similar to the Storm Shadows, which the UK recently started shipping to Ukraine.

The longer-range arms risk a major escalation of the war as they can be used to target Russian territory. The US says it’s restricted Ukraine’s use of American arms to Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory, but the rule does not apply to Crimea since the US doesn’t recognize the peninsula as Russian.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.