U.S. pressures Kyiv allies to urgently build air defenses

The Allies want to build a “patchwork” anti-aircraft defense for Ukraine

Washington is pressuring Ukraine’s allies to urgently build air defenses “Quilting” Using equipment that meets NATO standards and is therefore compatible, some ultramodern, others old.

set up “Anti-Aircraft Armor” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy demanded that the military build multi-layered ground-to-air defenses. “These are short-range, low-altitude systems, then medium-range, medium-altitude systems, and finally long-range, high-altitude systems.”US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters on Wednesday.

These three levels make it possible to defend Ukrainian strategic objectives, such as large cities, key infrastructure or power centers, against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles or drones.

American Nassums, German Iris-T, Spanish Hawk, French Mamba

The US has promised Nassams air defense systems, the first two of which are due to arrive in Ukraine soon. They have ordered six more from manufacturer Raytheon, but deliveries of these short-to-medium-sized, medium-height systems will not be operational for two to three years.

Germany has delivered the latest generation German Iris-T defense system to Kyiv, which will have to wait until next year for the other three that were promised. This medium-sized but tall structure was intended to protect a small town.

To speed up the process, the US urged its allies on Wednesday to hand over old anti-aircraft equipment if it meets NATO standards. Spain first responded positively on Thursday: sending four medium-sized Hawk surface-to-air systems to Ukraine, Mr. Austin announced, welcoming this. “Very, very quick response”. These Cold War-era systems have been modernized over the years. Spain has renovated some of them to extend their lifespan.

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French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that France would offer Kyiv “Radar, protect systems and missiles [les Ukrainiens] To protect them from attacks, especially drone attacks”. He did not specify the model of the anti-aircraft systems planned, but a US military official mentioned the SAMP/T surface-to-air defense system known as the Mamba, a European rival to the American Patriot, in service in France. , in Italy and Singapore. Paris has also supplied Crotel with short-range surface-to-air missiles, the French administration official recalled.

“It’s technically complex.”

The United Kingdom announced on Wednesday that it would deploy Amram missiles for US-supplied Nassams systems. Washington is also interested in the Spanish Spada 2000 system, which, like the Mamba, is made by European manufacturer MBDA, a U.S. official explained on condition of anonymity.

Washington plans to equip Ukraine with Patriot long-range batteries to provide protection against ballistic missiles. The U.S. military, which has limited stockpiles, is pressuring other countries that have purchased them to participate in the effort. Washington is also trying to convince Israel to supply components of its Iron Dome anti-aircraft system.

Once all these settings are provided, it is necessary “Make sure they’re linked together by command and communications systems, and make sure they have radars that can communicate with each other so they can find their target on the approach plane.”The US chief explained. “It’s technically complex.”he added. “It will take some time. »

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