White House greenlights transfer of MLRS to Ukraine — NYT
28 May, 2022

The Biden administration has approved the transfer to Ukraine of long-range multiple rocket launchers requested by Kyiv, The New York Times reported with reference to U.S. officials.

These are mobile missile systems that can fire much further than the launchers currently used by Ukraine. Officials did not specify what types of missiles will be delivered, but the NYT notes that the Pentagon most often uses the M31 Unitary GMLRS.

This high-precision weapon with satellite guidance has a range of more than 60 kilometers, greatly exceeding any artillery currently used by Ukraine.

Officials also say the United States plans to include HIMARS rocket-propelled grenade launchers in its next package. The transfer of these weapons will probably be announced next week.

The need for long-range weapons

Although Western countries have begun handing over heavier weapons in recent weeks, Ukrainian officials say there is a need for long-range weapons that could significantly improve the position of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the front.

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he expected from the second "Ramstein meeting" a decision to transfer to Ukraine, in particular, American long-range multiple rocket launchers. Following the meeting, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin said when asked about the supply of MLRS that he does not want to "get ahead of where [they] were in the process of resourcing requirements" and will not discuss specific names of the systems.

Reuters later wrote that the United States and Ukraine were discussing the supply of long-range weapons, including multiple rocket launchers (HIMARS), and restrictions on their use due to possible escalation if a strike is made on Russia's deep rear.