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The UK Defence Secretary has announced that the UK will give multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine to “help the country defend itself against Russian aggression”. The MoD said that the artillery system is a “cutting edge M270 weapon system” as it can strike targets up to 80km away with “pinpoint accuracy”.
According to the MoD, the weapon will offer a “significant boost” in capability for the Ukrainian forces.
In an announcement, the MoD said that the UK’s decision to provide Ukraine with the rocket system “has been co-ordinated closely with the US decision to gift the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) variant of MLRS”.
Alongside the weapon system, the UK will also supply M31A1 munitions at scale.
It comes as the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been requesting for longer range precision weapons from the West over the past few weeks.
The need for the weapons comes as Russian heavy artillery is used against the country in the eastern Donbas region, with a devastating effect.
In a statement, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace expressed UK’s support to Ukraine as the country defends itself against the Russian invasion.
Mr Wallace said: “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.
“If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win.”
He added: “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.”
The UK MoD said Ukrainian troops will be trained on how to use the launchers in the UK, so they can “maximise the effectiveness of the systems”.
Britain previously announced that Ukrainian personnel would be trained to use a variety of armoured vehicles which the UK donated, including Mastiff, Husky and Wolfhound.
The UK was the first European country to supply lethal aid to Ukraine, and has since provided thousands of anti-tank missiles, anti-air systems and armoured vehicles to Ukrainian forces.
Britain has also coordinated international donations of military aid, with RAF aircraft moving thousands of tonnes of military assistance from donors around the world to Ukraine.
The MoD said: “The UK will continue to provide aid to ensure Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself against brutal Russian aggression.”
More to follow…
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