TechUkraine deploys FrankenSAM. A potent Soviet-American hybrid to fend off massive Russian drone attacks

Ukraine deploys FrankenSAM. A potent Soviet-American hybrid to fend off massive Russian drone attacks

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12:06 AM EST, January 19, 2024

The Ukrainian armed forces reportedly deployed this unique weapon on Wednesday, January 17th. At that time, Ukrainian territory came under attack from the Russians, who used, among other tools, Shahed-136 drones. FrankenSAM was brought into action to counter these drones, successfully shooting down an enemy unit from several miles away, according to Defense Express. Simultaneously, the Ukrainians accomplished the destruction of 19 out of 20 launched airborne vehicles.

The FrankenSAM is a brainchild of American initiative. It marries Western components with machinery that Ukraine currently possesses. As a result, the launcher of American missiles was mounted on the Soviet Buk system's chassis.

This Soviet-American hybrid is a response to Ukraine's escalating need amidst constant military rearmament efforts. An air defense system of any kind is integral to Ukraine as Russian forces routinely launch mass attacks on the country, predominantly utilizing kamikaze drones. Hence, quick-response systems that can counter air attacks are essential on the frontlines.

The USA develops the FrankenSAM project in three directions, each equipping Ukrainian units with distinct missile launchers. The first project involves outfitting an armored vehicle with RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles (alongside a Buk system), and the second associates AIM-9M with Soviet radars. The third project remains confidential, but according to announcements, it is set to outperform the other two.

Defense Express clarifies that the AIM-9-based FrankenSAM modification will be much more straightforward because these specific missiles do not require a guiding beam, having their independent guiding head instead. The other missiles incorporated in the FrankenSAM project include RIM-7 Sea Sparrows, which have an impressive range exceeding 18 miles. Additionally, it is reported that FrankenSAM systems have already been situated in various locations across Ukraine.

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