Ukraine has broadened its request from the US for cluster munitions to include air-dropped munition to counter the Russian tank fleet.

Ukrainian officials requested US lawmakers to press Washington for the MK-20 cluster bomb at the Munich Security Conference last month, Reuters revealed, citing US Congress members.

One of the participants, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, confirmed to the outlet that he would speak to the White House on the matter this week.

Disperses 240 ‘Armor Piercing’ Bomblets 

Kyiv wants to drone drop the MK-20, which disperses anti-armor bomblets, the outlet added, citing US Representatives Jason Crow and Adam Smith.

The air-launched munition opens mid-flight and releases “240 dart-like submunitions, or bomblets,” according to Reuters.

The Ukrainian military considers the bomblets’ “armor piercing capability” greater than the munitions they have been using against Russian armor, the outlet wrote.

In addition to 155mm Cluster Shells 

Crow said that he could support the proposal if the Ukrainians provide assurances to use the munitions without the droplets and “in a non-cluster employment.”

Production of the Cold War munition ended years ago. However, the US military retains it as part of its stockpile.

The munition is in addition to the 155mm cluster shells the country has already requested from Washington to halt the Russian “human wave” attacks. Each shell disperses 88 submunitions.

Banned Munition

Cluster munitions are considered a threat to civilians as they have a wider impact point, including a higher failure rate with duds posing a danger years after their deployment.

The munitions have been banned by 123 countries, including most NATO members, under a 2008 pact. However, the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not signatories to the agreement.

See also  Mercury Launches New Electronic Warfare Combat Training Pod

The US has banned the export of cluster munitions whose bomblet failure is more than 1 percent, covering the entire US stockpile. The US president, however, can waive the prohibition.