Denmark sent Harpoon anti-ship missiles and the US delivered self-propelled howitzers for Ukrainian forces, Kiev's Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.

Reznikov said Ukraine also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers.
Reznikov said Ukraine also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers. (Reuters)

Ukraine has started receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said, saying the arms will bolster forces fighting Russia's offensive.

"The coastal defence of our country will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles – they will be used by trained Ukrainian teams," Reznikov wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

He said Harpoon shore-to-ship missiles would be operated alongside Ukrainian Neptune missiles in the defence of the country's coast including the southern port of Odessa.

Reznikov said the supplies of Harpoon missiles were the result of cooperation between several countries, saying the deliveries from Denmark took place "with the participation of our British friends".

He said Ukraine had also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers that will allow the Ukrainian military to strike targets from longer distances.

Ukrainian teams trained outside of country

After launching its offensive in Ukraine on February 24, Russia imposed a naval blockade of Ukrainian ports, hampering vital grain exports.

It has also used its Black Sea fleet to launch missile attacks against Ukraine, which has since started receiving Western military aid.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday that Denmark would provide a harpoon launcher and missiles to Ukraine.

Last month, a senior US defence official said the US military had started training a small number of Ukrainian troops on using howitzer artillery, adding that the training was being conducted outside of Ukraine.

Ukraine has said it wants to secure deliveries of US-made long-range M270 multiple-rocket launchers (MLRS) and use them in repelling Russian troops in the east of the country.

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile that uses active radar homing and flies just above the water to evade defences. It can be launched from ships, submarines, aircraft or coastal batteries.

Russia says its forces are on a special operation to demilitarise Ukraine and rid it of radical anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and its allies call that a false pretext to attack Ukraine on February 24. 

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Source: Reuters