While additional U.S. funding for Ukraine remains up for debate in Congress, the war to beat Russia continues, and now Ukrainian forces are adopting some new defenses they hope will work well.
Most recently, they launched a new defense system that offers some flexibility.
It’s a combination of Ukraine’s old, Soviet-era surface-to-air missile system, the Buk M1, “MacGyvered” to work with different combinations of radar systems and American missiles, including U.S. RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and there is a version for Patriot missiles.
The Patriot system itself is in short supply. That’s why the U.S. Pentagon is working with Ukrainians to piece together new options for using different types of surface-to-air missiles, or SAMs. Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine’s minister for strategic industry, shared the news Wednesday at the World Economic Forum that “FrankenSAMs” apparently do work.
“I am happy to announce that one of those systems had the first successful use this night. We put a Shahed down at 9 kilometers’ range,” said Kamyshin. “That’s the first use of this system, this specific system.”
Shaheds are Iranian-made suicide drones that Russia is using to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure. Until now, Ukraine has not had adequate air defense capabilities to defend its population centers from the drones.
“I’m happy that we already got these systems in the battlefield, protecting our sky, protecting our people. And grateful to our U.S. partners for making that happen,” said Kamyshin.
U.S. partners are helping Ukraine do what it can, with what it’s got.