The 5 Western Weapons Ukrainian Forces Need the Most Today

For 12 days now, the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Territorial Defense have managed to resist the Russian offensive, despitean obvious hardening of the adversary's rules of engagement, when it is obvious that he will have no chance of a quick victory or of winning the support or even the neutrality of the vast majority of the Ukrainian population. Initiated prior to the conflict by the United States and certain European countries, arms deliveries to the Ukrainian forces now play a decisive role in their ability to maintain pressure on the units taking part in the Russian offensive, striking effectively supply convoys and blocking certain offensives, in a strategy of slowing down and maximum attrition against the adversary. However, the significant change in strategy implemented by the Russian units, now making significant use of their air and artillery assets, including against residential areas, undermines Ukrainian resistance capabilities, optimized for short-term engagements distance.

In order to give the Ukrainian fighters the means to counter the extraordinary firepower of the Russian line units, it seems essential to initiate the delivery of new weapon systems adapted to this new tactical reality, so as to allow the Ukrainians to support the commitment while eroding the enemy's offensive capabilities, and thus convince the Kremlin of the need for a negotiated solution to this conflict, without giving Vladimir Putin a pretext to designate the Europeans and, more broadly, the Westerners, as co-belligerents, as would be the case if European combat aircraft or heavy armored vehicles, even operated by Ukrainian crews, were to cross the country's border. In this article, we will present 5 of these weapons that are indispensable for the Ukrainians to meet this challenge, without providing the Russian authorities with a pretext for a potential widening of the conflict.

1- Vagabond Ammunition and NLOS Missiles

The last few days have shown that the Russian forces are now using their powerful artillery to overwhelm the Ukrainian defenses, but also to try to break the morale of the civilians, by carrying out inaccurate but extremely deadly medium-range strikes. These are mostly driven by 2S19 Msta-S 152 mm and 2S3 Akatsiya 122 mm self-propelled guns and BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers. These systems have a maximum range ranging from 18 km (Akatsiya) to 40 km for the Grad, allowing Ukrainian targets to be struck while remaining out of range of Ukrainian defensive capabilities, even when they attempt to conduct infantry raids. or special forces. With no air strike capabilities except effective but vulnerable TB2 drones against prepared positions, and with limited counter-battery capability, Ukrainian forces now have a critical need for weapon systems capable of engaging at medium range, between 5 and 40 km range, to be able to neutralize, or at least push back the Russian batteries surrounding the cities.

The 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled gun has a range of 25 km

The West has two systems of this type, likely to respond precisely to this need. The first is the Ammunition Vagabonde, which made the brilliant demonstration of his abilities during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. These light drones make it possible to take on targets that are several kilometers to several tens of kilometers away depending on the model, combining the endurance of the drone and its ability to search for and detect targets, with a strike and destruction capacity thanks to to the warhead that destroys the target when the drone hits it, leading some to call them 'kamikaze drone'. In addition, due to their small size and slow speed, vagrant munitions are difficult to detect by anti-aircraft systems, and their low infrared radiation makes them resilient to surface-to-air missiles employing this type of guidance. Whether it's the US-developed infantry switchblade, whose range and autonomy are reduced, to heavier vagrant ammunition like the Israeli Harop capable of striking at several tens of kilometres, these systems would offer the Ukrainian forces very useful indirect strike capabilities to neutralize the artillery threat.

In the same way, there are now long-range anti-tank missiles capable, too, of carrying out indirect strikes. These are NLOS missiles for No Line of Sight, weapons that do not require a line of sight against the target to fire, and therefore destroy a target while remaining under cover. Two systems are currently in production in the West, the French MMP with a range of 6 km that can be used by infantry, and the Israeli Spike NLOS with a range of 30 km but requiring vehicle-mounted implementation. . These systems would not only make it possible to engage artillery units from a safe distance, but they could also be used to eliminate as a priority anti-aircraft systems protecting Russian units, so as to allow the use of armed drones such as the TB2 to remove the battery.

2- Light reconnaissance drones and anti-drone devices


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