Pentagon denies they will dispose of “expired” ATACMS missiles

Use of ATACMS missiles by the Defense Forces
Use of ATACMS missiles by the Defense Forces

The spokesman for the US Department of Defense, Patrick Ryder, denied Newsweek's report that the US will destroy decommissioned ATACMS systems, Voice of America journalist Carla Babb reports on X (formerly Twitter) on Jan 4.

According to The New York Times, the U.S. delivered about 20 ATACMS to Ukraine, and Ukraine used the missiles "immediately and with great effect," former commander of U.S. Army Europe Ben Hodges told Newsweek.

Read also: Russia reduces helicopter usage after ATACMS strikes — Danilov

Daniel Rice, a former special adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, said that the US is going to destroy "hundreds" of ATACMS variants, the M39 and M39A1 missiles, which are "excellent legal high-precision cluster weapons." He noted that the missiles could be sent to Ukraine and used against the Russian invaders, as they are in working condition and could play an essential role on the battlefield.

Read also: How Ukraine fortifies its energy facilities from Russian missile and drone strikes

Fabian Ginz, an International Institute for Strategic Studies analyst, told Newsweek that the stated operational life is not always an accurate indicator of whether a missile is functional. According to him, the key point is to keep the engine of a solid-fuel rocket in good condition.

Hodges also said that sometimes a missile can be used several years after the end of its useful life.

Read also: Ukraine gives weapons wish list to USA in time for the holidays

In October, Ukraine first received long-range American ATACMS missiles with a range of about 160 km.

The first ATACMS strike was against the occupiers' airfields in Berdyansk and Luhansk. Special operations forces said that nine helicopters and special equipment of the enemy were destroyed. The Armed Forces also hit Russian ammunition depots.

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