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21 Aug, 2022 08:59

US to send Ukraine GPS-guided munitions – Politico

The Excalibur shells can be fired from M777 howitzers already used by Kiev's troops
US to send Ukraine GPS-guided munitions – Politico

The US is planning to supply Ukraine with GPS-guided high-precision M982 Excalibur artillery shells, Politico reported on Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The shell is equipped with an armor-penetrating warhead and has a laser-guided version. The munitions can be fired using US-made M777 howitzers, which are already being used by Ukrainian troops.

The shells can hit targets at a range of up to 70km, depending on the artillery caliber, according to the manufacturer, Raytheon Technologies. The Excalibur munitions would allow Ukraine to strike targets deep inside Russian-controlled territories.

Reports in May said Canada was providing a number of Excalibur shells to Ukraine that were left over from the war in Afghanistan.

The report in Politico has come as the US announced an additional $775 million worth of military aid to Kiev. The package includes 1,000 Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile systems and 1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles. The Pentagon is also providing Ukraine with 40 heavily armored MaxxPro mine-resistant vehicles, which were originally developed for US forces in Iraq.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in June that “flooding” the neighboring country with foreign weapons will only lead to more “suffering in Ukraine” and will not change the course of the conflict.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.