At the end of 2022, Turkey began sending Ukraine US-designed, artillery-fired cluster bombs, Foreign Policy reports, citing American and European officials familiar with the decision.
According to the outlet, Turkey sent Ukraine dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs), which were made during the Cold War. The weapons were developed under a co-production agreement with the US and designed to “destroy Russian tanks and kill troops on the battlefield”, Foreign Policy notes.
The authors of the article claim that Turkey’s authorities tried to keep their deliveries of munitions to Ukraine quiet for months.
Kyiv spent a long time trying to make Washington send Ukraine such munitions, but was denied, the outlet notes. Furthermore, under US law, Washington is barred from exporting DPICM “because of its high dud rate”.
“It just shows how even as Turkey cozies up to Russia in some respects, it’s become a really important supporter for Ukraine militarily,” one of the Foreign Policy’s sources says.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington and Ukraine’s Defence Ministry did not reply to Foreign Policy’s request for comment.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits use of cluster bombs, however, neither Ukraine, Turkey, the US, nor Russia joined it.
According to Foreign Policy, Turkey produced 155 mm cluster munitions used in many systems of NATO member states and 122 mm ones — used more often in the Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian systems.