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Air Force: Air defense needs more systems to counter ballistic missiles

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 22, 2023 12:24 PM 1 min read
A German-operated MIM-104 Patriot missile fires an interceptor missile during Operation Red Arrow exercise in Greece on October 15, 2008 (Peter Mueller/Bundeswehr)
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Ukraine’s air defense lacks sufficient means to protect the airspace against large-scale ballistic missile strikes, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said in the wake of heavy attacks against Ukraine on May 21-22.

“For the situation to improve, we need more air defense systems like Patriot or SAMP/T,” Ihnat added. While Ukraine’s defenses have proven effective against kamikaze drones, advanced systems like Patriot are necessary to intercept ballistic missiles, he said.

Ukraine received two Patriot air defense systems at the end of April, which are viewed as one of the world's best air defense systems, enabling Ukraine to shoot down ballistic missiles. However, according to Ihnat, two batteries are not sufficient to cover the entire territory of the country.

France and Italy have also pledged their SAMP/T air defense systems, though according to documents leaked to Politico these may be delivered only by June.

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