UK ignores Putin's threats and will send 'cutting edge' guided rocket systems to Ukraine

Business Insider US
The British army's M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) fires during Summer Shield 2022 military exercise in Adazi military base, Latvia May 27, 2022.
  • The UK will send guided rocket systems to Ukraine that can hit targets 80 kilometres away. 
  • In addition to the M270 launchers, the UK will also send M31A1 munitions. 
  • Putin threatened to 'use our means of destruction' to strike at new targets if more military aid was sent to Ukraine.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

The UK is sending "cutting edge" guided rocket systems to Ukraine that can hit targets nearly 80 kilometres away, ignoring new threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

These M270 launchers — or multiple-launch rocket systems — will bring a "significant boost in capability for the Ukrainian forces" on the battlefield, the UK's defense ministry said in a Monday statement

In addition to the launchers, the UK will also send M31A1 munitions and will train Ukrainian troops on how to use the weapons systems. 

"As Russia's tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine," UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in the statement. 

He continued: "These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin's forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities."

Ukraine previously requested that the West provide it with longer-range weapons to defend against "devastating" Russian heavy artillery in the eastern Donbas region, the UK said, where the war — which eclipsed the 100-day mark last week — has become a bloody and slow-moving campaign.  

Moscow threatened Kyiv against receiving Western military support, even striking Ukraine's capital city with missiles on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.  

According to the report, Putin said in a TV interview that the delivery of Western weapons will only "drag out the armed conflict as much as possible."

He said if Ukraine gets longer-range weapons systems, then Russia will "draw appropriate conclusions and use our means of destruction, which we have plenty of, in order to strike at those objects that we haven't yet struck."

The UK's announcement comes after US President Joe Biden last week authorized the transfer of a similar type of weapon — the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) — to Ukraine, which has double the range of the M777 howitzers that have already been sent to the eastern European country. 

"We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table," Biden said in a New York Times op-ed.  

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