HIMARS is a big threat to the Russian military, but in the end, the Russians have found an effective way to deal with this powerful weapon.

According to Russian news agency RT News, the Russian Aerospace Forces recently attacked an ammunition depot located in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine. More than 100 US-made HIMARS rockets were destroyed. This time, the Ukrainian side could suffer huge losses. The HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System really brought a lot of trouble to the Russian military. Due to its high informatization, flexibility and accuracy, HIMARS is a major threat to the Russian military on the Ukrainian battlefield.

According to statistics from the US Department of Defense, Ukraine has used HIMARS to destroy more than 100 high-value Russian military targets, such as ammunition depots, long-range artillery positions, command posts, air defense positions, radar battlefields and communication centers, etc. Despite such high performance, guided rockets like the M31 are too expensive, about 168,000 USD each; But remember Javelin anti-tank missile that the US aided Ukraine, cost $ 80,000 each. Therefore, the HIMARS rocket is considered by the US as an “affordable” weapon for Ukraine.

So what measures does the Russian military take to contain HIMARS systems? Regarding the traditional method, it is to use radar to detect the trajectory of the enemy missile, locate its launch site; then use artillery fire, air force, even tactical ballistic missiles to destroy. But the Russian military is somewhat difficult to do this, mainly due to the lack of long-range artillery reconnaissance radars. The level of informationization of Russia’s artillery command system is also not as good as that of the West.

Although the Russian military has a number of cruise missile and ballistic missile launchers with ranges far beyond HIMARS, their reaction speeds are not suitable for such counter-fire missions. While Ukraine’s HIMARS tactic is “shoot and run”. Another way is to search, identify and locate HIMARS through continuous aerial reconnaissance. The problem is that the Russian military has a fast firepower attack capability, but it doesn’t have an effective aerial reconnaissance capability.

But HIMARS also has weaknesses. Its ammunition is currently only manufactured in the United States and is in no way manufactured in Ukraine. They had to be transported from the US to Poland, and then transported to Ukraine by land, and storing HIMARS ammunition in the Donbass battlefield was extremely difficult. In theory, if each HIMARS launcher were to launch only twice a day, the eight launchers that Ukraine currently has would launch 96 rockets per day. But the M31 rockets cannot travel with the HIMARS launch vehicle and they are stored in a fixed location.

HIMARS rocket launchers and loader trucks are difficult to destroy, but stationary ammunition depots are easier to locate and destroy. On the other hand, the amount of ammunition stored in a warehouse is often also very large. Meanwhile, the level and capabilities of the Russian special forces are very good, they can carry out reconnaissance operations deep in the rear of Ukraine and try to find out the location of the HIMARS rockets; can then destroy directly, or announce coordinates for destruction by air force and long-range missiles.


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