The US has delivered 12 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, and the Pentagon announced Wednesday that Washington would soon send at least four more in the near future. The Russian military and the Donbass People’s Militias have accused Kiev of using the installations to strike civilian areas.
The HIMARS mobile artillery operating Ukraine are manned by outstaffed career NATO military personnel, and information regarding the advanced weapons systems’ operation is not being transferred to the Ukrainian side due to a lack of trust, a Russian security source has told Sputnik, citing intelligence received from sources inside the Ukrainian military.
“According to information received from sources in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at least two HIMARS are operating in the southern direction, with the remaining 10 dispersed in the northern arc, in the area of active hostilities” in Donbass, the source, who requested anonymity, said.
Further, the source indicated that targets are selected using US military satellites, and that HIMARS operate in a shoot-and-scoot manner, quickly changing their positions after firing to avoid return fire, and never returning to positions where they have previously been deployed.
In addition, the source said that each time that HIMARs salvos are launched, they are covered by several additional salvos from less advanced artillery, such as Uragan and Smerch, with the goal being to saturate Russian air defenses and deplete munitions before HIMARS rounds are launched. The mobile artillery are moved around and fired in the dead of night.
The Russian military has said that of the 12 HIMARS delivered to Ukraine, three have been destroyed in fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two in the area of Malotaranovka, and one near the city of Krasnoarmeysk.