Ukraine’s armed forces say that efficiency of foreign-made NASAMS and IRIS-T air defense systems is ameliorating with each passing day.
Currently, there are two NASAMS systems in service with the Ukrainian Air Force. Six more units were ordered by the U.S. as part of military assistance for Ukraine, and one by Canada. Norway has also recently announced plans to transfer two firing platoons of this air defense system to Ukraine.
On Thursday, Ukraine’s military published photo of one of the U.S.-made NASAMS air defense systems for the first time. It has been painted in desert camouflage.
“The advantage of these Western systems is the ability to work in a single information field, that is, to exchange information in real time. If NASAMS did not get a target on this section, it will hit somewhere further on the Iris-T route, and if not, then Patriot,” said military spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
Ihnat said only 20% of Russian missiles were being destroyed by Ukraine before it received these missile systems. He stressed that although the effectiveness of these Western weapons are high, they cannot completely protect Ukrainian airspace.
“Existing medium-range SAMs in Ukraine cannot physically cover the whole country, they cover important strategic directions, critical infrastructure facilities and are constantly moving. Today, we have a wide range of various Soviet and foreign-made air defenses in the Armed Forces. But that’s not enough. [Because] Our country is big, one of the largest in Europe,” he added.
It takes two years to build NASAMS because of the time it takes to procure electronic components and rocket engines.
Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said the U.S. is cooperating with the Middle Eastern countries to receive their NASAMS in a short time. Oman already has these systems, while Kuwait and Qatar have placed orders.
Hayes said attempts were being made to transfer NASAMS ordered by other countries to Ukraine, which would reduce the delivery time to less than six months. The U.S. will then still fulfil orders over the next 24 months.