Ukraine

Britain to send multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine

The Defence Secretary says that, with international support, he believes Ukraine can win the war against Russia.

The UK will send its first multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine after Russia struck the outskirts of Kyiv for the first time since April.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will send an unspecified number of M270 launchers, which can fire precision-guided rockets up to 50 miles – a longer range than any missile technology currently used in the war.

"The UK stands with Ukraine in this fight and is taking a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country from unprovoked invasion," Mr Wallace said in a statement from the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

"If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win.

"As Russia's tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine.

"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."

Ukrainian troops will be trained in the UK to use the equipment, he said, adding that M31A1 munitions would also be supplied.

The MOD said the decision to provide the launchers was closely coordinated with the US government, which said that it would supply High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine.

US Marines perform HIMARS Training Exercise in Florida 10052022 CREDIT US Dept of Def.jpg
Library image of the HIMARS that the US is sending to Ukraine (Picture: US Department of Defense).

When the US announced it would be sending the missiles, Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed to hit new targets.

"If they are delivered, we will draw appropriate conclusions from this and use our weapons, which we have enough of, to strike at those objects that we have not yet hit," he told a Russian state TV channel.

The city of Kyiv was attacked by Russian forces on Sunday - the first time since April that Ukraine's capital has been hit.

Following the attack, Russia claimed its military destroyed tanks donated by Ukraine's allies and other armour in a barrage of missiles