Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

America Will Send HIMARS Missile Launchers To Ukraine, What Could Go Wrong?

Someone has been smoking escalation in the White House.

4 min readJun 17, 2022


In the game of poker, experienced players know how to spot a tell. A tell is what alerts a player as to the value of the other hands in the game. They watch the eyebrows, hands rubbing noses, rapping fingers, and furtive glances. A good player can use a tell to estimate their risk in a hand of poker.

When the Biden Administration revealed last month that it would not send long-range missiles to Ukraine for use in their war with Russia, that’s a tell. America, it seemed, was not too sure of its hand, or Russia’s.

Last month, some of America’s highest-ranking military officers did not believe that Ukraine could resist the temptation to send missiles deep into Russian territory.

So it was with some fear that I learned that the United States government changed its mind on June 1st. The White House us tells that they will indeed send a few units of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Ukraine. Funding for this shipment was included in the latest $1 billion aid package to be sent to Ukraine.

According to the HIMARS manufacturer Lockheed Martin, HIMARS has a range of 300 km and potentially up to 499 km with future munitions. Lockheed Martin also had this to say about its system:

Affordable and Sustainable
HIMARS is the most technically advanced, affordable and sustainable artillery solution. Provides cutting-edge technology on an indigenous platform.

Maximum commonality with M270A1 launch system and MLRS interoperability. Simplifies coalition operations, training, logistics and coordination.

Artillery is “sustainable”? Who knew? That artillery isn’t just painted green, it is green, as in good for the planet. But wait, there’s more:

Lockheed Martin

2 million operating hours? There are 540 of those things around the world?

I guess the trick is getting it to Ukraine and fielding it, without the Russians blowing it up…