The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive the first batch of German-made IRIS-T short-range surface-to-air missile defense system in the next few days. The German Ministry of Defense has recently confirmed this news. The arrival of these highly-advanced air defense systems will greatly improve the overall air defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The IRIS-T SLM is a land-based air defense system developed by Diehl Defense with modified short-range guided missiles. It can eliminate aerial targets such as aircrafts, helicopters, cruise missiles, drones and bombs. The IRIS-T SLM can defend from approaching missiles at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) and a distance up to 40 kilometers (25 miles).
The German Ministry of Defense yesterday announced the news of the incoming deliveries of the IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to Ukraine on its official Twitter account.
“Germany delivers the first of four IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to #Ukraine. The recent Russian #missile attacks on Kyiv and other cities shows how important the air defense capability for Ukraine’s self-defense is”.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are in immediate need of highly-capable short-range air defense systems to defend the Ukrainian skies from the continuous and massive cruise missiles and suicide drone attacks launched by the Russian Federation.
Yesterday, Russia launched one of the biggest missile attack on Ukraine. The Combined Forces of the Russian Federation launched more than 82 cruise missiles and 21 suicide drones towards military and energy facilities of Ukraine.
Ukraine claims to have intercepted and shot down approximately 53 of those 82 cruise missiles. This massive missile attack was launched by Russia from sea, land and air. More than 95 people were wounded and 12 were killed in these attacks.
Although russia claimed that these massive precision-guided attacks were carried targeting Ukraine’s energy and military facilities, but according to Ukrainian claims some of the missiles launched by russia struck civilian areas such as school, university, etc.
Ukraine needs advanced air defense systems to counter the threat posed by these type of russian cruise missiles and suicide drone attacks. The arrival of advanced air defense systems in Ukraine will heavily strengthen the air defense capabilities of Kyiv.
Yesterday’s massive attack on Ukraine will now increase pressure on western countries such as the United States and European countries to provide the Ukrainian Army with state-of-the-art weapon systems. Although western nations has provided Ukraine with various types of weapon systems since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War in February this year, but they have been slow in providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Air Defense Systems.
Although the leaders of the European Union and the United States has condemned the Russian attacks, but it is still not clear that they would accelerate or expand their air defense systems deliveries to Ukraine.
The United States has announced in July that they will supply Ukrainian Army with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS). NASAMS is a short- to medium-range ground-based air defense system developed by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Raytheon. The system defends against unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, cruise missiles, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and aircraft.
Ukraine will use the NASAMS to defend it high-value military installations and other facilities. NASAMS has the effective firing range of about 20 miles, means it is best suited to defend key infrastructure and population centres.
Ukraine is expected to receive a total number of eight NASAMS units in the next few months from USA. According to the statement of the spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force, they have already started training on these systems.