TechUkrainian ATACMS strike rattles Russian positions in Luhansk

Ukrainian ATACMS strike rattles Russian positions in Luhansk

Luhansk attacked by Ukrainians
Luhansk attacked by Ukrainians
Images source: © X, @ismetyukcell

5:01 PM EDT, June 7, 2024

On June 7, 2024, the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk came under fire. Ukrainians attacked several locations used by the Russian army. ATACMS missiles struck the city and its surrounding areas. We explain what this weapon is.

Artem Lysogor, head of the Luhansk Oblast authorities loyal to Kyiv, informed that videos show explosions near the barracks of the former Luhansk Higher Military Navigation School, where Russian invaders have already settled comfortably. The same area houses an airport, an aircraft repair plant, and a road leading to the border with Russia. He added that a nearby oil depot was also hit.

ATACMS fell on Luhansk

Artem Lysogor also noted that local observers' information indicates there may have been up to 20 explosions. Meanwhile, Russian occupation authorities claimed in a statement that air defense systems had shot down ATACMS missiles (Army Tactical Missile System). However, the series of explosions leaves no doubt that not all targets were neutralized. This isn't the first time the ATACMS missiles used by Ukrainians have inflicted significant losses on the Russians.

ATACMS are solid-fuel ballistic missiles produced in the United States. It's worth noting that Ukrainians have been using them since last year, but only the M39 variant, which is older, has a range of up to 100 miles and uses inertial guidance. In 2024, the defending army started receiving newer variants of this weapon.

This includes the M39A1 variant, which allows for striking targets at up to 186 miles. Additionally, it also has satellite navigation, ensuring greater precision in attacks.

ATACMS is also a weapon with high destructive power. The warheads of these missiles contain hundreds of M74 bomblets. The older variant has 950, while the newer one has around 300. Each bomblet weighs 21 ounces and has a destructive range of several feet. They contain an incendiary mix, so ATACMS attacks often result in fires.

ATACMS pose a significant problem for the Russians mainly due to their destructive power. Recently, they have developed effective methods for jamming satellite navigation, but their efforts are mostly effective against missiles with lower destructive power, such as GLSDB or M982 Excalibur.

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