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Russia Bombs Arcelormittal Workshop In Ukraine; It Says It Destroyed Dozens Of HIMARS Rockets And Systems

Story Highlights
  • Russian air defence units are said to have stopped four HIMARS rockets and other rockets fired by Ukrainian forces using Olkha and Uragan MLRS.
  • The Russian air defence commander was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying, "If at first the Russian air defence forces didn't know what the HIMARS MLRS missiles were

Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, said on December 7 that 70 HIMARS rockets and two MLRS were destroyed by Russian troops in a targeted attack on the ArcelorMittal plant in Kryvyi Rih.

“According to the confirmed information, a strike by ground-based high-precision weapons against a missile/artillery armament depot in one of the workshops of the ArcelorMittal metallurgical plant in the city of Kryvyi Rih destroyed more than 70 rockets of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system and two multiple rocket launchers,” Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov also said that four other MLRS systems were severely damaged by the strike.

You can’t check the Russian MoD’s claims on your own, except for the fact that a Russian missile did hit the ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih plant on December 5. Ukrainian sources say that this missile strike killed one person and hurt three others.

Konashenkov also said that another HIMARS MLRS was destroyed in the Donetsk area, along with a cache of ammunition.

Konashenkov said that a strike on the Ukrainian army’s equipment recovery point in the Donetsk People’s Republic near the town of Malotaranovka destroyed a HIMARS rocket launcher and 48 rockets.

Winter Favors Russia

The most recent Russian claims of success against HIMARS MLRS come as experts say that the HIMARS system is not good for fighting in the fall and winter.

The HIMARS started showing up in Ukraine in the summer, and they changed everything for Kyiv by turning the tide of the ongoing war in favour of the Ukrainian military.

HIMARS gave the Ukrainian military the ability to strike quickly and accurately from a distance without using air power. This helped the Ukrainian military make up for the fact that its air force was small.

But a Russian officer from the 1st army corps of the Donetsk region recently told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the enemy has been using the MLRS HIMARS less since winter started.

Vijainder K Thakur is a veteran of the Indian Air Force and a military analyst. He has told the EurAsian Times that since winter started, the Ukrainian Army has been having trouble with a number of things, such as the loss of foliage as cover, the difficulty of building tracks in mud and snow, and the need for special fuel and lubricants.

Thakur said that the loss of foliage cover had made it harder for HIMARS to “shoot and run.” Before, the American-made MLRS system would fire rockets quickly and then quickly hide behind vegetation, like in a nearby forest. But now, there is no greenery to hide under because it is winter.

This makes it easier for Russian ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) tools, like drones, satellites, and the Tu-214R reconnaissance aircraft, to find HIMARS and hit it with a precise strike.

Russia Claims 100% Interception Rate Against HIMARS?

Russian air defence units are said to have stopped four HIMARS rockets and other rockets fired by Ukrainian forces using Olkha and Uragan MLRS. This is in addition to destroying HIMARS MLRS and rockets.

“Four rockets from the HIMARS, Olkha, and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems were shot down near the settlements of Olkhovatka in the Kharkiv Region, Pervomaisk and Frunze in the Lugansk People’s Republic, and Volnovakha in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Konashenkov said.

The Russian air defence troops now have new software that makes it easy for them to find HIMARS rockets and shoot them down quickly.

A commander of a Russian air defence unit stationed in the Zaporizhzhia region recently told local Russian media that the new software makes it easy to shoot down HIMARS MLRS missiles.

The Russian air defence commander was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying, “If at first the Russian air defence forces didn’t know what the HIMARS MLRS missiles were, after the firmware of the new programme, they became a “normal target.”

“We have no trouble seeing, observing, or destroying,” the Russian commander said, adding that his unit had shot down about 10 HIMARS rockets, including four in November.

Russian experts say that the new software lets the Russian air defence units make calculations that are about 100 percent accurate. This lets them shoot down HIMARS rockets quickly.

Alexei Podberezkin, the head of MGIMO’s Center for Military-Political Studies, told Sputnik radio, “In theory, even before the new software, 75-80% of the missiles launched by HIMARS systems were shot down, but not 100%.”

Podberezkin went on to say that a HIMARS rocket is pretty long and that an air defence missile needs to hit its warhead with great accuracy to destroy it.

He also said that HIMARS rockets are launched from very far away, and that it is important to calculate their path accurately because even small mistakes can cause the interceptor missile to miss its target.

This is where the software update comes in, because it lets the exact path of the rocket be calculated so that the warhead of the rocket hits its target.

Overall, Russia seems to have put most of its efforts into beating HIMARS, and if the latest claims from Russia are true, it looks like those efforts are paying off.

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