PHOTOS: Ukrainian civilians are turning busted and salvaged vehicles into mobile rocket launchers with scavenged military hardware – DAVID RAUDALES


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PHOTOS: Ukrainian civilians are turning busted and salvaged vehicles into mobile rocket launchers with scavenged military hardware

Ukrainian civilian volunteers work to modify damaged and salvaged vehicles into small mobile MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) units made from recovered Russian and Ukrainian military hardware on September 25, 2023, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Photos show Ukrainian civilians turning damaged and recovered vehicles into mobile rocket launchers. 
The volunteer civilians are using recovered military hardware to develop the systems. 
Ukraine has long relied on its scrappiness, from capturing Russian weapons to turning cheap drones into deadly weapons.

Ukraine’s been fighting to keep control of its country for over a year and a half, its counteroffensive is showing limited but promising progress against Russian defenses in sectors of the front lines, and the Ukrainian people are continuing to show off their scrappy instincts and ingenuity with makeshift mobile rocket launchers made from wrecked vehicles and recovered hardware.

New photos show volunteer civilians helping to develop multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) from recovered Russian and Ukrainian military hardware previously damaged in battle. The MLRS is being fitted onto salvaged vehicles, a marked improvement in which the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. 

Two civilian volunteers work on the MLRS system with the guidance of a 31-year-old Ukrainian soldier.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Despite its humble origin, the jury-rigged MLRS pictured here presumably functions in a manner similar to a system professionally built to military specifications.

As mobile rocket artillery, it features a single platform supporting a collection of launch tubes able to fire multiple surface-to-surface rockets. When it prepares to launch, the tubes rise up and fire the rockets. They launch from the front, while the back of the tubes will release the exhaust. 

The six tubes that would hold the MLRS’ rockets.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Ukraine asked the US for MLRS in May 2022, arguing the longer-range weapons would give troops the ability to strike Russian targets, such as command and control centers, troop concentrations, and ammunition depots, from further away. At the time, the Biden administration was hesitant to give Ukraine weapons that could be used to strike Russian territory, and there were real concerns about escalating tensions with Moscow.

In June 2022, however, the US, UK, and Germany agreed to send M270 MLRS and the MARS II MLRS to Ukraine. The US also agreed to send High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). The GMLRS rockets these systems fire boast a range of about 43 miles, farther than the systems Ukraine was using at the start of the war, like the Uragan and Grad systems.

The MLRS raised up in launching position.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The makeshift MLRS pictured here adds additional firepower and is another example of Ukraine’s clever efforts to bolster combat capability in a very tough situation however it can, from capturing Russian weapons and turning them against the enemy to innovating. Systems like the one pictured highlights the country’s ability to adapt to its circumstances and the changing state of the war while reacting in real-time to what they need to be successful on the battlefield.

Facing a tough adversary, Ukraine has found ways to inflict asymmetric losses on Moscow’s forces with creativity. The country, for instance, doesn’t really have a Navy, but it prioritized the development of Neptune anti-ship missiles and a drone boat force that has terrorized the Russian Black Sea Fleet, even destroying some vessels.

Two vehicles being fitted with MLRS’.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Ukraine, often through civilian volunteer operations, has also prioritized the use of cheap airborne drones, using first-person view (FPV) drones to take out Russian tanks, expending drones that may only cost a few hundred dollars to take out tanks worth millions — another asymmetric win.

And in another example of innovation, just this past month, Kyiv appeared to be hunting expensive and formidable S-400 air defense systems with modified anti-ship Neptune missiles, showing they had adapted the system to hit land targets

Read the original article on Business Insider