Ukraine Receives Harpoon Missiles and Howitzers, Says Defense Minister | world news
(Reuters) – Ukraine has started receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Saturday, saying the weapons would boost forces fighting the Russian invasion.
“Our country’s coastal defense will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles – they will be used by trained Ukrainian teams,” Reznikov wrote on his Facebook page.
He said Harpoon coast-to-ship missiles would be used alongside Ukraine’s Neptune missiles for the defense of the country’s coast, including the southern port of Odessa.
After launching its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia imposed a naval blockade of Ukrainian ports, hampering vital grain exports.
It has also used its Black Sea Fleet to launch missile attacks against Ukraine, which has since started receiving Western military aid.
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Reznikov said the Harpoon missile deliveries were the result of cooperation between several countries, saying the deliveries from Denmark took place “with the participation of our British friends”.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday that Denmark would provide a harpoon gun and missiles to Ukraine.
Reznikov said Ukraine has also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers that will allow the Ukrainian military to hit targets at longer ranges.
Last month, a senior US defense official said the US military had begun training a small number of Ukrainian soldiers in the use of howitzer artillery, adding that the training was taking place outside the military. ‘Ukraine.
Ukraine has said it wants to secure deliveries of US-made M270 Long-Range Multiple Rocket Launchers (MLRS) and use them to push back Russian troops in the east of the country.
The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon anti-ship missile that uses active radar guidance and flies just over water to evade defenses. It can be launched from ships, submarines, aircraft or shore batteries.
Russia says its forces are on a special operation to demilitarize Ukraine and rid it of radical anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and its allies call it a false pretext to invade Ukraine on February 24.
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Helen Popper)
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