Ukraine’s defense minister said Tuesday his country likely needs around 50 long-range rocket systems, such as HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers, to “effectively hold back” Russia and at least 100 such systems “for an effective counter-offensive.”

During a discussion with the Atlantic Council, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov detailed additional weapon systems allies and partners can provide that he believes will be critical in the ongoing fight against the Russian invasion.

A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) rocket launch.

“We need weapons fast and in sufficient quantities. We need air and rocket defense systems and long-range weapons, in particular for MLRS, anti-ship missiles, aviation, tanks and armored vehicles. We need them to mount a successful counter-offensive and to push the enemy out of our land,” Reznikov said.

Reznikov said he believes Ukraine has proven to its international partners that it can use long-range rocket systems “economically” and “precisely,” adding that HIMARS and MLRS have helped destroy approximately 30 Russian command stations and munitions storages.

“This has significantly slowed the Russian advance and dramatically decreased the [frequency] of their artillery shelling. So it’s working. We are grateful to our partners for HIMARS and the M270 MLRS,” Reznikov said.

The U.S.’ new $400 million weapons package for Ukraine announced earlier this month brought the total number of Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built HIMARS launchers committed to 12 units, with eight of those having already been delivered (Defense Daily, July 8). 

The U.K. previously announced in June it would send M270 missile launchers, also built by Lockheed Martin, to Ukraine.

Along with calling for additional HIMARS and MLRS units, Reznikov said Ukraine will require munitions for those systems that can reach ranges greater than 150 kilometers.

“Long range systems will allow us to completely destroy the logistics and rapidly cut off the Russian army from its support,” Reznikov said. 

Reznikov said Ukraine could also use more unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems to augment its artillery capabilities.

“To be more effective we need long-range and high-precision weapons and UAVS,” Reznikov said. “If we only get artillery, it will not be enough. We need artillery plus UAVs for reconnaissance and to arrange precise shooting against the enemy.”

As of the latest weapons package from earlier this month, the U.S. has now committed more than $8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Biden administration, to include more than $7.3 billion since the beginning of the Russian invasion.