Advanced missiles enable Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian territories — ISW report

A full-size model of the ATACMS missile on the exhibition stand
A full-size model of the ATACMS missile on the exhibition stand

The provision of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine could significantly extend the reach of Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU), enabling them to target vital locations deep within Russian territories., the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in its recent analysis on April 24.

This capability could lead to strategically important results if coordinated effectively with ground operations to capitalize on the weakened Russian defenses caused by the strikes.

Read also: Russian propagandists in panic over US supplying long-range ATACMS to Ukraine - Video

Approved by the U.S. Senate and endorsed by President Joe Biden, this U.S. military aid is expected to reach Ukrainian frontlines soon, surprising Russian military expectations. However, the ISW notes that the situation on the battlefield will continue to deteriorate until the AFU can deploy this new equipment effectively. In the short term, Ukrainian forces may face challenges defending against intensified Russian offensives near Chasiv Yar and northwest of Avdiivka.

Read also: White House sets out immediate and long-term aid plans for Ukraine

Secretly shipped to Ukraine in March 2024, the ATACMS missiles—capable of reaching approximately 300 kilometers—have already been used by Ukraine to strike high-value targets in areas like Crimea and east of occupied Berdyansk, as confirmed by senior U.S. officials. Notably, geolocated footage shows these missiles impacting Russian radar systems linked to an S-300 air defense setup southeast of Volnovakha. Additional strikes near Berdyansk have also been reported, although it is not confirmed if these involved ATACMS missiles.

<span class="copyright">NV</span>

The ATACMS has proven particularly effective against Russian military infrastructure, such as an airfield in occupied Dzhankoy, Crimea, where it reportedly destroyed S-400 air defense launchers among other crucial equipment. As part of a $1 billion security assistance package, the U.S. plans to supply additional ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, enhancing their capability to disrupt Russian logistics and airfield operations further into enemy territory.

While cluster munition-armed ATACMS enable more destructive strikes against airfields, potentially forcing Russian aircraft to relocate further from the frontline, the impact on fixed-wing aircraft might be minimal due to their longer operational ranges. However, the threat to Russian rotary-wing aircraft, which were notably effective during Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive, could be significant.

The arrival of these missiles also poses strategic dilemmas for Russian forces concerning the security and placement of ammunition depots. Although Russian forces may have initially adjusted to the Ukrainian capabilities demonstrated by earlier ATACMS usage, ongoing strikes could still present substantial logistical challenges.

Read also: Markarova optimistic about US weapons arrival in Ukraine this April

Overall, the ISW emphasizes that the operational significance of Ukrainian ATACMS strikes depends heavily on their integration with ground assaults, aiming to exploit the resultant Russian vulnerabilities effectively.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine