NASAMS, Iris-T Air Defense Systems Could End Russia's Dominance of Ukrainian Airspace

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:03 AM, August 24, 2022
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NASAMS, Iris-T Air Defense Systems Could End Russia's Dominance of Ukrainian Airspace
Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) @Raytheon

The Pentagon has announced that the NASAMS air defense system (ADS) will be delivered to Ukraine over the next 2-3 months while the German-made Iris-T will be produced over the next few weeks.

“In the field of air defense, where support is primarily requested, we made sure that the highly modern Iris-T systems were not delivered to another country, but that they were delivered to Ukraine. This will happen in the coming weeks,” German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock said at a joint briefing with her Icelandic counterpart in Berlin.

Separately, an unnamed Pentagon official said during a background briefing in Washington that the delivery of NASAMS to Kyiv will take place within the next two to three months.

Currently, Ukraine’s skies are dominated by Russian fighter and long-range bomber aircraft, ADS such as the S-400 and S-300, and a variety of air-to-ground and air-to-air missile systems ensure that Ukrainian aircraft do not get too close to Russian formations and command posts. In addition, satellite and air surveillance, not to mention electronic warfare, make it difficult for Ukrainian aircraft to operate. However, the entry of NASAMS medium-range air defense system and the Iris-T short range ADS could make Russian aircraft tread with caution.

The most recent U.S. military aid to Ukraine includes additional High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, HARM. “Ukraine has successfully employed these missiles. They have successfully integrated them onto Ukrainian aircraft, and this enables Ukraine to seek and destroy Russian radars, so we'll be providing additional HARM missiles,” the Pentagon official said.

With the NASAMS and Iris-T targeting Russian aircraft in the sky, Ukrainian fighter jets would have some leeway in going after Russian formations inside Ukraine.

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