The United States has secretly modified HIMARS rocket launchers handed over to Ukraine so that they cannot be used to launch long-range missiles at Russia, including ATACMS. The Wall Street Journal writes about this, citing sources.
As the publication notes, in this way, the Administration of US President Joe Biden wanted to reduce the risks of an escalation of the war with the Russian Federation. The U.S. fears that Ukraine may stop fulfilling its promise not to strike Russian territory with weapons provided by Washington.
And while the U.S. has refrained from supplying Ukraine with ATACMS long-range missiles, HIMARS modifications ensure that Ukraine will not be able to use these launchers are for launching long-range munitions if Kyiv acquires such projectiles through other states.
The WSJ notes that the Pentagon declined to comment on modifications that US officials say affect their hardware and software.
«For reasons of operational security, we do not publicly comment on the configuration of systems provided to allies and partners. The United States remains supportive of giving Ukraine the capabilities it needs to counter Russian aggression,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said.
The White House, which sources say in the administration, took part in making key decisions on armaments for Ukraine, declined to comment. The Ukrainian military also declined to comment on the WSJ.
The publication recalls that earlier the United States also refused to provide Ukraine with Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones due to Pentagon fears that they could be used to strike targets in Russia.< /p>