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WSJ: Ukrainian air interception rates decline amidst heightened Russian attacks

by Sonya Bandouil May 14, 2024 2:45 AM 1 min read
Two of the Patriot systems deployed at the German Air and Missile Defense Task Force (PATRIOT) contingent are facing east. German Defense Minister Pistorius visited the deployment site in the afternoon in Zamosc, Poland, 3 July 2023. (Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's ability to intercept Russian missile attacks has declined, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on May 13.

Around 46% of missiles were intercepted in the last six months, compared to 73% intercepted in the preceding six-month period. Last month, 30% of missiles were intercepted.

This decrease in interception comes as Russia intensifies its drone and missile assaults, employing more sophisticated weaponry like ballistic missiles. Also, Shahed drone attacks by Russia have nearly doubled in the last six months.

While Shahed drones are easier to shoot down, with an over 80% interception rate, only 10% of ballistic missiles have been shot down in the past half-year. Patriot systems are the only reliable defense against ballistic and S-300 missiles, given their rapid speeds.

As U.S. defense aid was held up in Congress until a few weeks ago, the Patriot systems had to be conserved. According to President Zelensky, Ukraine would need at least seven Patriots but ideally 25 to cover the full Ukrainian territory.

While efforts to expedite Western aid are underway, the next few months will be critical for Ukraine to withstand Russian air assaults until new air defense supplies arrive.

Ukrainian Defense Industry: Kyiv catches up with Russia in Shahed drone analog production
Ukraine has caught up with Russia in the production of domestically-made kamikaze drones similar to Iranian-designed Shahed-131/136, Herman Smetanin, the head of the state-owned Ukrainian Defense Industry company, said in an interview with ArmyInform published on May 8.
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