ATACMS could give Ukraine edge, but Russia could prepare – ISW

ATACMS missile (photo: © RBC-Ukraine (CA)

The arrival of a sufficient quantity of long-range ATACMS missiles will allow Ukrainian forces to degrade the material and technical capabilities of the Russian army and threaten their airfields deep in the rear. However, months of delay may have given Russia time to reduce the potential operational impact on Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Armed with cluster munition warheads, ATACMS missiles will allow Ukrainian forces to deliver more effective strikes on airfields than individual missile strikes on individual aircraft.

These strikes could force Russian forces to move their aircraft further from the front line, although this is likely more applicable to turboprops than to most Russian fixed-wing aircraft, which have much greater range.

Russian troops effectively used turboprops during the repulsion of Ukrainian mechanized attacks during Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia region in the summer of 2023, but currently, the Russians are using far fewer turboprops to support current offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.

Currently, Russian troops are actively using aircraft to strike with precision bombs along the entire front line, and redirecting these aircraft to airfields located further from the front line is likely to have only a minor impact on the speed of strikes, according to ISW.

The use of ATACMS by Ukraine could also pose a significant threat to Russian ammunition depots in rear areas.

The Institute suggests that after using ATACMS in October 2023, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck enemy depots, the Russians could have prepared for a repeat attack by strengthening or dispersing depots across all occupied Ukrainian territories.

“Ukrainian strikes against Russian logistics or Russian aviation assets in deep rear areas will likely be operationally significant, however, only if Ukrainian forces successfully coordinate them with ground operations to exploit the degraded Russian capabilities resulting from the strikes,” the report said.

Is ATACMS included in the new package from the US

The New York Times reports that additional missiles are included in the new $61 billion aid package for Ukraine, although according to official information from the United States, they are not there.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that ATACMS missiles are included in the recently approved aid package.

Yesterday, April 24, the White House stated that the US will continue to supply ATACMS to Ukraine.

Source: RBC Ukraine