Since the past month, the russian armed forces have rapidly increased the use of Suicide Drones to attack Ukraine. These suicide drones are causing heavy damages to Ukrainian Armed Forces. Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War, germany has been a big supplier of weapons and other associated equipments to Ukraine, germany is also one of the biggest supplier of air defense systems to Ukraine, so what is the capabilities of german-supplied weapon systems when it comes to fight against incoming waves of russian cruise missiles and suicide drone.
The Russian military on the Ukrainian battlefield is increasingly relying on the Geran-2 (Shahed-136) suicide drone for low-altitude attacks, as the country’s missile stockpile is rapidly decreasing.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air defense forces has also gradually recovered from the early stages of the war, when it was reinforced with Western air defense systems; including many German anti-aircraft weapons.
Recently, the Ukrainian Army used the Gepard anti-aircraft artillery complex to destroy Russian suicide UAVs ; According to a statement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, this week alone, Russia used dozens of Geran-2 UAVs, but “most” were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.
Earlier, Germany delivered more than 30 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery systems to the Ukrainian Army, and the Ukrainian Army showed off the achievements of these systems as a photo depicting a Geran-2 UAV shot down by a Gepard air defense system.
The main weapon of the Gepard air defense complex is a pair of 35 mm automatic cannons, which can hit air targets at a distance of up to 3.5 km and ground targets up to 5 km. In particular, these two automatic cannons have a very high rate of fire, up to 1,100 rounds per minute.
To detect aerial targets such as UAVs, helicopters and aircraft, the Gepard system is equipped with a radar system that can quickly lock on to a target at a distance of up to 20 km.
If Gepard is a short-range air defense system, which has been removed from service by the German Army, then IRIS-T is Germany’s most modern medium-range air defense missile system, which has just aided the Ukrainian army and has been brought into service and into the ongoing battle.
A day ago, Germany’s IRIS-T air defense missile system, which aided Ukraine, shot down its first aerial target (the type of target is unknown), in the sky over the capital Kiev. This is also the first real combat achievement of this type of air defense missile system.
Currently, Russia’s attacks on the capital Kiev from October 10 to now, mainly use two types of weapons: cruise missiles and Geran-2 suicide drones; However, the Ukrainian Army has yet to make any comment on the matter.
So far, according to Russian intelligence reports, the German IRIS-T air defense system has only been brought to the Odessa region.
However, the Ukrainian military deliberately gave out false information, in order to prevent Russia from accurately detecting the location of these complexes.
At the present time, there is no evidence that this modern German missile complex actually hit the target and according to the latest information, the Ukrainian air defenses have used up to 75% of their available ammunition of missiles for the IRIS-T system, which was delivered to Ukraine by Germany this week.
According to Ukrainian Defense Journals, the effectiveness of hitting targets with the German IRIS-T air defense systems is “above average”. But now, the Ukrainian Army is urgently in need of a fresh new supply of missile ammunition, as the system will run out of ammunition next week.
In an interview with the German newspaper FAZ, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal called on Germany to urgently supply more missile ammunition for the IRIS-T air defense system and emphasized that Ukraine has indeed run out of ammunition.
According to some information, in total, Germany has provided Ukraine with two IRIS-T systems and 48 IRIS-T anti-aircraft missile rounds to Ukraine; however, about 40 of them were used up.
The Ukrainian side said that these complexes were used to destroy both cruise missiles and suicide UAVs; however, their efficiency turned out to be only slightly above average (about 60%). Although the German manufacturer claims, these complexes are capable of hitting targets with a probability rate of up to 85%.
After Ukraine used German IRIS-T air defense systems in real combat with “above average” effectiveness, it is known that German Chancellor Olof Scholz decided to transfer to Ukraine at least three more air defense systems, IRIS-T as well, as well as an (unspecified) number of medium-range missiles for this system.
The IRIS-T systems will be delivered to Ukraine in the near future, probably before the end of the year. This takes into account previously announced deliveries, bringing the number of IRIS-T systems to which Ukraine will have five. It is likely that in 2023, Ukraine will receive two more IRIS-T complexes, as Germany previously promised.
So far, the Ukrainian Army has only two IRIS-T air defense systems, but it is likely that by the end of next week a large number of US NASAMS air defense systems, which have a much larger range of destroying targets than IRIS -T, are going to Ukraine.