Reuters: Ukraine asked the US for cluster munitions to drop them from drones
Ukraine asked the US for cluster munitions to use their fragments for drone attacks. This is reported by Reuters with reference to two American lawmakers – Jason Crowe and Adam Smith, who work on the House Armed Services Committee.
It is noted that Ukraine, in particular, is looking for the MK-20 cluster bomb to drop its individual parts from drones – this is in addition to the 155-mm cluster artillery shells that Ukraine has already invited.
The MK-20 is being dropped from aircraft. It opens mid-flight, releasing over 240 wire submunitions or bombs. The Ukrainian military believes that these submunitions “have a better armor-piercing ability” than the ammunition they drop from drones.
According to US lawmakers, Ukraine wants cluster artillery shells to stop attacks from a “live wave” that RF organizes for several months, trying to capture Bakhmut.
Reuters writes that cluster munitions may be too big a step for the Biden administration and some members of Congress. Opponents claim that when dropped, bombs can maim and kill civilians and have a high failure rate, and unexploded ordnance poses a threat for many years after the end of the conflict.
Textron Systems Corporation ceased production of the MK-20 in 2016 However, there are more than a million bombs in US military depots.
In 2008, an agreement was reached at an international conference in Dublin to ban the production, use and stockpiling of cluster munitions. 123 countries have joined the agreement. The US, Russia and Ukraine refused to join. In 2009, the United States passed a law banning the export of cluster munitions with a bomb failure rate greater than 1%. Biden may lift this ban.
- Stoltenberg rejected Ukraine's demand for cluster munitions.