Could Ukraine’s ATACMS missile make Crimea `out of military value`?

Could Ukraine's ATACMS missile make Crimea `out of military value`? 0

(Dan Tri) – Western experts say that the long-range ATACMS missiles that the US gave to Ukraine could make the Crimea peninsula no longer militarily valuable.

The long-range ATACMS missile was launched from the US M270 multiple rocket launcher (Photo: Wikipedia).

Last week, the New York Times said the US had quietly transferred 100 long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine and Kiev had put these missiles into use.

The US previously sent ATACMS with a shorter range last fall.

These targets include Crimea, a peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014 and is militarily important in the Ukrainian battlefield.

Philip Karber, a military analyst with expertise in Ukraine, said that `the transfer of ATACMS is a major breakthrough`.

Crimea has been strongly fortified over the past 10 years and the peninsula plays an important role in the Russian military’s strategy.

It also serves as a logistics hub and important military supply route to southern Ukraine, and is where Russia launched a series of missiles and drones against Kiev targets.

Ukraine has recently carried out many attacks on Crimea and they claim to have weakened Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

These attacks used weapons such as unmanned boats, UAVs, and Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles provided by the UK and France.

However, ATACMS has a big advantage over Storm Shadows in that it moves much faster.

Weighing more than 1.6 tons, 4m long and 610mm in diameter, ATACMS can fly at speeds of up to 1km/s at a ceiling of about 50km.

In mid-April, Ukraine announced it had attacked the Dzhankoi military base, in northern Crimea, including the S-400 air defense launcher, without detailing the weapons used.

Last month, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pointed to ATACMS as the main weapon for targeting Russian airfields in Crimea.

`When Russia knows we can destroy these jets, they will no longer attack from Crimea,` Mr. Zelensky told the Washington Post.

`It’s like a fleet at sea. We pushed them out of our territorial waters. Now we will push them out of the airports in Crimea,` he declared.

Developed by defense industry corporation Lockheed Martin since 1986, to date, about 3,700 ATACMS missiles have been produced and put into service by the US military and a number of allied countries.

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