TechRussia claims victory over Patriot system, but did they just hit a decoy?

Russia claims victory over Patriot system, but did they just hit a decoy?

Russians boast about the destruction of the Patriot system.
Russians boast about the destruction of the Patriot system.
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11:33 AM EDT, May 12, 2024

Russian media recently released a film boasting of their ability to destroy a Patriot missile defense system. This film claimed their Iskander missile successfully hit the M902 launcher and the AN/MPQ-65 radar—a critical system component. However, evidence suggests that what the Russians destroyed was merely a decoy of the American defense mechanism.

Missile defense systems protect key civilian and military locations from aerial threats. By intercepting and neutralizing incoming missiles or aircraft, these systems diminish the impact of bombings and enhance the defensive capabilities of a region.

In 2023, Ukraine received American Patriot missile defense systems, which have effectively countered missile assaults and challenged Russian aviation. Consequently, these systems have become a significant target for the Russian Federation.

Russians boast of destroying the Patriot system

A recent piece of Russian propaganda highlighted their supposed success in annihilating a Patriot system in Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, using an Iskander-M ballistic missile. The targeted components were claimed to be the M902 launcher and the AN/MPQ-65 radar.

Nonetheless, analysts argue that the missile, valued at $3 million, struck a mock version of the system. They note discrepancies such as the absence of the specific antenna associated with M902/903 launchers and the misalignment of the AN/MPQ-65 radar. The expected secondary explosions, typical of a successful hit on such a system, were notably absent.

The systems supplied to Ukraine, equipped with PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles, are designed to efficiently counter aircraft, ballistic warheads, maneuvering missiles, and tactical rockets. The AN/MPQ-65 radar is crucial for these operations, providing a 240-degree surveillance capability.

However, it's important to recognize that Russian forces have had some success against these systems.

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