What Weapons is Ukraine Using to Fight Russia?
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made a desperate appeal to the US Congress, requesting further military assistance to help battle Russia on Wednesday. US President Joe Biden vowed $800 million in weapons to combat ‘war criminal’ Vladimir Putin just hours later. 800 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 2,000 Javelin rockets, 100 ‘tactical’ drones, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and 25,000 sets of body armor will be part of the latest batch.
The US weaponry are in addition to those offered by European Union nations such as Germany, France, and Spain. Drones were provided by Turkey.
This is what we know about the weapons that will be (or have already been) provided to Ukraine, not just by the US, but by other countries as well.
S-300 missile defense systems
The S-300, a powerful Russian-designed missile that is possessed by certain European NATO countries, is considered as a feasible longer-range anti-aircraft weapon that is easier to incorporate into Ukraine’s military, according to a US military source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to AFP.
Switchblade ‘kamikaze’ drones
According to the source, these drones can linger over a target before attacking. According to AFP, there are two models: Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600, all of which are 1.3 meters long. Both can be launched from land, air, or sea, but the bigger type has a 50-mile range and can carry anti-armour warheads in a pinpoint hit.
Stinger anti-aircraft systems
This is a shoulder-fired missile used by ground troops to repel low-altitude aircraft threats and is perhaps one of the more well-known missiles in the world – versions have been deployed in various battles over the years, including by the Soviets in Afghanistan. They can be launched from helicopters as well. 600 of these have previously been delivered or are in the process of being delivered in the United States. Other countries, including as Germany, have also pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to Ukraine.
Images of Ukrainian troops carrying Javelin missile launchers on their shoulders have flashed around the world, making the anti-tank weapon a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russia's invasionhttps://t.co/m1hc5VwivE pic.twitter.com/XTJwDBJkLB
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 16, 2022
The Javelin is an anti-tank missile that locates its target using thermal imaging. According to AFP, the US will give Ukraine with 2,000 of these notoriously lethal missiles. The total number of Javelins from the United States is unknown, although it is thought to be significant.
Their effectiveness is astounding; sources say that they kill Russian tanks 93% of the time, causing Moscow to withdraw tank divisions from the front lines in some cases.
Next-generation light anti-tank weapons
The United Kingdom claims to have sent 3,615 NLAW missiles with launchers. Other European countries have also pitched in, with Germany sending 1,000 troops, Norway 2,000, and Sweden 5,000, according to Bloomberg. According to the Guardian, these are relatively light-weight and have a range of roughly 800 meters, making them suitable for infantry use.
Both Javelins and NLAWs attack a tank from above, where its armour is most vulnerable. Both missiles are ‘fire-and-forget,’ meaning that Ukraine soldiers can depart as soon as the shot is fired. Once their position is exposed, this decreases the chance of a possibly deadly response.
Starstreak anti-aircraft weapons
According to the Guardian, British defence minister Ben Wallace has reportedly agreed to supply Ukraine with an undefined number of high-velocity Starstreak anti-aircraft guns. They have laser-guided targeting systems to boost the odds of striking the enemy and are considered some of the world’s quickest short-range surface-to-air missiles.
In addition, the United Kingdom has said that it will deploy Sky Sabre, a medium-range missile defense system, in Poland (which borders Ukraine) to safeguard the country from future Russian strikes.
Bayraktar TB2 drones
Around 20 Turkish military drones are stationed in Kyiv. “These are few in number in compared to ground combat, but they are significant for Ukrainian morale because they demonstrate that Russia does not control the skies,” Aaron Stein of the Foreign Policy Research Institute told AFP.
The TB2 is 6.5 meters long and weighs half as much as the Reaper from the United States. It is equipped with four laser-guided munitions. It has a ceiling of 25,000 feet and can fly for 27 hours, according to its manufacturer.
Five Mi-17 helicopters, four counter-artillery and counter-unmanned aerial system tracking radars, missiles, shotguns and machine guns, and roughly 40 million rounds of ammo have already been given or promised by the US.
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Information Source: Hindustan Times