The United States is working on providing Ukraine with the Harpoon anti-ship missiles or Naval Strike Missiles
The United States is working to meet Ukraine’s demand for advanced anti-ship missiles.
Reuters reported about this, citing its own sources in US government circles.
The Americans want to help Ukrainians overcome the naval blockade that Russia has imposed on the Black Sea and to remove the threat to the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.
On the other hand, the United States fears that more powerful weapons that can potentially sink Russian warships would escalate the conflict.
Three U.S. officials told Reuters that the United States is considering providing two types of anti-ship missiles: Harpoon or Naval Strike Missile. Options for both ones are either direct shipment from the United States to Ukraine or through a transfer from a European ally.
An obstacle to Harpoon’s supply is that these RCCs are predominantly sea-based and have a very limited number of offshore-based platforms. However, the United States is working on potential solutions that include pulling a launcher off of a U.S. ship.
A number of countries are willing to send Harpoons to Ukraine. But no one wants to be the first or only nation to do so, fearing reprisals from Russia if its ship is sunk with a Harpoon from their stockpile. However, the U.S. official said one country is considering being the first to make a first step. Others may follow.
The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) looks like a better solution. The Americans believe that 14 days will be enough to master them. NSM coastal complexes already exist. Norway can supply a number of these systems.
The delivery of Harpoon or NSM must be approved by the State Department.
According to Reuters sources, other systems that Ukraine would like to receive as soon as possible are ML2 M270 and HIMARS. However, so far the United States has decided to send M777 towed howitzers.
Two officials told the agency that the M270 and HIMARS issues would be considered after the US Congress votes on a $ 40 billion aid package. This will allow $ 11 billion to be spent on weapons from US stockpiles without further approval from Congress.
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