This will help Kyiv in its efforts to unblock the Black Sea.
The White House is working to transfer modern anti-ship missiles to Ukraine that will help it overcome the naval blockade established by Russia, officials said.
The statements came amid fears that more powerful weapons capable of sinking Russian warships would intensify the conflict.
Ukraine does not hide that it wants to get more modern American weapons, in addition to the artillery it has, as well as Javelin and Stinger missiles. Thus, Ukraine is requesting missiles that could push the Russian fleet away from the Black Sea ports, which would allow the resumption of supplies of grain and other agricultural products around the world.
In addition to fears of escalation, American officials and Congressional sources cite obstacles to sending Ukraine more powerful and long-range weapons, including requirements related to long-term training in the operation of the equipment, difficulties with its maintenance and fears that American weapons may be seized by Russian troops.
However, three American officials and two Congressional sources reported that two types of powerful anti-ship missiles, Harpoon manufactured by Boeing and Naval Strike Missile manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon Technologies, are being actively considered for direct delivery to Ukraine or for delivery by transfer from a European ally with such missiles.
In April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked Portugal to provide the Ukrainian military with Harpoons missiles, the range of which reaches almost 300 km.
Bryan Clark, a naval expert at the Hudson Institute, says that 12-24 Harpoon-type anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 100 km will be enough to threaten Russian ships and may convince Moscow to lift the blockade.
“If Putin persists, Ukraine will be able to destroy the largest Russian ships, because they will have nowhere to hide in the Black Sea,” Clark said.
Ukraine also stated that it would like to receive multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), such as the M270 manufactured by Lockheed Martin, which can hit a target at a distance of 70 kilometers or more, which is three times more than many of the howitzer shells they are armed with.
U.S. officials have said the M270 or similar systems – such as the M142 HIMARS – will be considered for delivery to Ukraine after Congress passes a $40 billion additional funding bill that would allow the president to authorize the transfer of surplus weapons from U.S. stockpiles without Congressional approval.