President Joe Biden has reportedly informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the United States will supply Kyiv with ATACMS long-range missiles, according to a report by US broadcaster NBC News.
Ukraine has consistently requested the provision of Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) by the Biden administration to target supply lines, airbases, and rail networks deep within Russia’s occupied regions in Ukraine.
However, the White House has not officially announced its decision to provide Ukraine with the ATACMS system. Additionally, the missiles were not publicly discussed during President Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Washington, D.C., for talks with President Biden, despite the US announcing a new $325 million military aid package for Ukraine.
Both the White House and the Pentagon declined to comment on the NBC report, and the Pentagon did not confirm whether any promise regarding ATACMS had been made during Zelenskyy’s meetings at the Department of Defense.
The report did not specify a delivery date for the ATACMS missiles.
Earlier in the month, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that supplying longer-range missiles to Kyiv would be considered a “red line,” and the US would be seen as a “party to the conflict” in Ukraine if it provided such weapons.
Although President Zelenskyy did not directly address the NBC reports on ATACMS, he acknowledged that the US is the largest single supplier of weaponry to Ukraine and mentioned discussions covering various types of weapons, including long-range weapons, artillery, artillery shells, and air defense systems. He emphasized the comprehensive nature of the discussions and cooperation between Ukraine and the United States at different levels.
Additionally, The Washington Post reported that the US intends to provide Ukraine with a version of ATACMS armed with cluster bomblets rather than a single warhead, with a range of up to 306 kilometers (190 miles).
ATACMS is designed for deep attacks against enemy second-echelon forces, according to the US Army, and can be employed to target command and control centers, air defenses, and logistics facilities located well behind the front lines.