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Italy to send Ukraine second SAMP/T air defense system, foreign minister confirms

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 3, 2024 11:44 PM 2 min read
The SAMP/T Mamba air defense system at Kuchyna Air Base, north of Bratislava, Slovakia, on April 19, 2023. (Joe Klamar / AFP via Getty Images)
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Italy will send Ukraine a second SAMP/T battery, the only European-made air defense system that can intercept ballistic missiles, the country's foreign minister said on June 3.

Speaking in an interview with RaiRadio 1, Antonio Tajani said it was "an instrument of air defense, therefore of protection, that Ukraine itself asked us for."

He did not say when the system would arrive in Ukraine.

Ukraine has asked international partners to deliver more air defense in the wake of an increase in Russian strikes targeting energy infrastructure since March, and devastating aerial attacks in Kharkiv Oblast.

Previously, France and Italy jointly supplied Ukraine with a SAMP/T system back in 2023.

A source close told Reuters that the latest SAMP/T system would be one that is currently deployed in Kuwait but is soon due to return back to Italy.

Last month the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers promised to strengthen Ukraine's air defense capabilities to protect civilians and critical infrastructure from Russian attacks.

Attacks earlier this year against Ukraine's energy infrastructure destroyed several thermal power plants across the country, including the key power Trypillia plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

The G7 ministers condemned these strikes and welcomed the launch of the Register of Damage caused by Russia's war against Ukraine.

"Russia must pay for the damage and devastation it is causing," the statement read.

Defense Minister Umerov: Russia attacked Ukraine with 10,000 guided bombs this year
Russia typically uses laser-guided or satellite-guided KAB bombs, with payloads ranging from 250 to 1,500 kilograms, against Ukrainian military and civilian targets.

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