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Air Force: Patriot air defense systems have already shot down 15 Kinzhal missiles

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 31, 2023 6:06 PM 1 min read
Members of Germany's Bundeswehr look at MIM-104 Patriot missile launching systems at the Luftwaffe Warbelow training center on Dec. 18, 2012, in Warbelow, Germany (Sean Gallup)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Patriot air defense systems have already shot down 15 Russian Kinzhal missiles since they were first used in May, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on national television on Dec. 31.

"On May 4, the first 'unparalleled' Kinzhal missile was successfully intercepted. The count started from that moment," Ihnat said.

Ukraine's Air Force admitted in early May that it shot down a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal ballistic missile for the first time since the start of the war.

In April, Ukraine received its first two Patriot systems from the U.S. and Germany. The Patriot system is viewed as one of the world's best air defense systems and enables Ukraine to shoot down ballistic missiles, lowering the risk of infrastructure damage and civilian casualties during Russian attacks.

However, Ihnat stressed that Ukraine is in need of more competent air defense systems to protect the country efficiently.

"A few batteries are not enough," he added.

In October, Germany pledged to deliver another Patriot system to aid Ukraine against an anticipated rise in Russian attacks during the winter months.

Patriot air defense faces its toughest challenge ever in Ukraine
The wait is over — after almost a year of refusals and hesitation, Western-provided MIM-104 Patriot air defense systems have finally arrived and become operational in Ukraine. On April 21 and 26, Ukraine’s Air Force confirmed the full employment of two Patriot batteries. As Ukraine’s own Soviet-er…
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