TechPoland contemplates boosting Ukraine with more Soviet-era defense aid

Poland contemplates boosting Ukraine with more Soviet-era defense aid

S-125, illustrative photo
S-125, illustrative photo
Images source: © X, @visegrad24
4:53 PM EDT, April 12, 2024

Andrzej Duda discussed military support for Ukraine with Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Polish president mentioned the potential provision of additional aid through Soviet-era missiles and air defense systems. The specifics of these potential weapons were considered.

The Ukrainian portal Defence Express, which focuses on military topics, highlighted that Poland has previously donated missiles and entire systems for Soviet air defense to Ukraine. Andrzej Duda noted that Poland still holds reserves that could be utilized to support Ukraine further as it defends against Russian aggression.

Further assistance from Poland to Ukraine?

"In our meeting today, we explored specific options with President Zelenskyy. Poland has Soviet-era missiles in its reserves, and we discussed transferring them to enhance Ukraine's missile defense capabilities. I intend to pursue this issue further with the Minister of National Defense upon my return to Warsaw," Ukrainian media quoted Andrzej Duda.

Poland has notably contributed significant military aid to Ukraine, including sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons. Among these are the domestically produced Piorun anti-aircraft missile systems, the ZU-23-2CP systems (which are Polish modernizations of the Soviet anti-aircraft gun ZU-23-2), and the ZSU-23-4 "Shilka", Osa-AKM-P1 "Stinger" or S-125 Newa SC.

Defence Express mentioned the challenge in determining the inventory levels of various anti-aircraft systems and missiles in Polish warehouses. Nevertheless, ongoing maintenance contracts for these systems suggest they are readily available.

The S-125 Newa SC from Poland in Ukraine

Ukrainians have long requested additional Western support to counter Russian airstrikes and shelling more effectively. While the most sought-after systems are the advanced Patriot systems, delivery challenges persist among allies.

As a result, older systems have been deployed for urban defense. Recently, video footage showed Poland's S-125 Newa SC systems protecting the skies over Odessa. The missiles from the S-125 Newa can engage targets up to approximately 15.5 miles away and reach altitudes of about 11 miles.

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