The Pentagon is preparing to supply Ukraine with one of the U.S. military’s most advanced weapons.
The Biden administration is considering granting a Ukrainian request for the Multiple Launch Rocket System and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, according to sources cited by CNN.
Administration officials are eyeing shipping the weapons to Ukraine as part of a military and security assistance package slated for next week.
Ukrainian officials have sought the rocket launchers for some time, having requested the weapons with more urgency than any other, according to Politico.
The Biden administration previously held up supplying the launchers to Ukraine, fearing that they’d be used to strike cities within Russia.
American officials have also questioned if supplying the weapons would deplete the U.S. military’s capabilities. Pentagon officials directed Lockheed Martin to increase the production of MRLS systems in a meeting last week.
The Pentagon may also supply Ukraine with the HIMARS — a more mobile and compact version of the MRLS rocket launcher.
The weapons could potentially allow Ukrainians to destroy artillery outside of major cities without exposing themselves to returning fire.
The rocket launchers were designed to fire barrages of six to 12 rockets and drive away before enemy artillery can nail down their location for a counterattack.
Poland agreed to buy the powerful rocket launchers from the United States in a $414 million deal in 2019, according to The Defense Post.
HIMARS and MRLS would be among the most advanced western weapons to enter Ukrainian hands.
Other Western weapons, such as the Phoenix Ghost suicide drone, have enabled the Ukrainian military to defeat the more extensive Russian military in the country’s north.
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