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Kremlin says Ukraine targeting forces in Crimea with U.S.-made mobile missiles

By Mike Heuer
Ukrainian military forces targeted Russian forces in Crimea twice in five days using the U.S.-made and recently acquired ATACMS surface-to-surface missile system. Photo by U.S. Army
Ukrainian military forces targeted Russian forces in Crimea twice in five days using the U.S.-made and recently acquired ATACMS surface-to-surface missile system. Photo by U.S. Army

May 4 (UPI) -- Ukraine is using recently acquired and U.S.-made and supplied mobile surface-to-surface missile systems to target Russian military assets in the occupied Crimean peninsula, the Kremlin said Saturday.

Ukrainian troops launched four of the tactical ATACMS missiles Friday night into Saturday morning, which were intercepted and shot down by Russia's air defense system, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a Telegram post.

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They said the attacks targeted Russian training facilities in Crimea and are the second use of the U.S.-made portable missile systems in about five days.

Ukrainian forces on Tuesday deployed three of the recently acquired ATACMS missiles to target Russian forces in the Crimea peninsula, killing an estimated 100 Russian military personnel while destroying a Russian surface-to-air missile defense system in Dzhankoy, according to analysts with the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War.

Lockheed Martin subsidiary Ling-Temco-Vought designed and manufactures the army tactical missile system that commonly is referred to ATACMS. The system is designed to give military commanders on the ground "immediate firepower to reshape the battle space," according to the manufacturer.

Each surface-to-surface missile can carry up to a 500-pound fragmentation warhead and other ordinance. Each missile is packaged in separate but identical mobile launchers until deployed.

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A GPS guidance system and a maximum range of about 185 miles. They use solid rocket fuel to propel them to a maximum flight ceiling of 160,000 feet at up to Mach 3.

The missiles were part of the military aid package signed into law by President Joe Biden on April 24 to help Ukraine defend against Russia, which invaded the nation two years ago.

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