TechUkraine prepares for winter warfare with advanced air defenses

Ukraine prepares for winter warfare with advanced air defenses

Launching a missile from the Patriot system.
Launching a missile from the Patriot system.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons | BOHYUN PYUN
7:01 AM EST, November 10, 2023

Oleksiy Hetman, a Major in the Reserve Armed Forces of Ukraine, has outlined the type of assault Ukraine is bracing for from Russia in the upcoming winter. He expects them to employ a strategy similar to the one used by Hamas during an attack on Israel. The Ukrainian forces not only anticipate the nature of the attack but also boast of modern air defense systems, the capabilities of which we will explore in this article.

The Defense Romania portal noted that Russian attacks during the past winter were dispersed across Ukraine. The troops targeted enemy positions using a relatively small number of missiles. However, Hetman foresees a significant shift this winter. He suggests Russia may adopt tactics similar to Hamas, which carried out an attack on Israel in early October.

According to the Ukrainian military, while the count of missiles may remain similar, the strategy is likely to change. Each missile will target one or two specified locations, replacing the previous scatter approach. The assailants will concentrate on specific, less fortified targets instead of attacking multiple Ukrainian positions. The defense anticipates heavy bombardment in the southern or central regions of the country.

Recent reports from Russia correspond with the Ukrainian predictions. They suggest that the Russian army is currently accumulating attack equipment and waiting for favorable conditions - the arrival of winter. Vadim Skibicki, a Ukrainian intelligence agent, announced recently that Russia has produced a total of 115 guided missiles in October this year, almost doubling the output from the initial months of 2023. The aggressor has curtailed the intensity of kamikaze drone strikes as well, which is noteworthy.

Armed and ready, Ukrainians brace for attack

As Defense Romania reports, the Ukrainians are not only cognizant of Russia's impending intense bombardment but are also equipped with modern air defense systems. Their arsenal includes primary defenses like NASAMS, IRIS-T, and Patriot.

NASAMS and IRIS-T are short and medium range defense systems. NASAMS was commissioned during the late 1990s and based on the missile model, it can reach targets up to 31 miles away. Meanwhile, its radar can detect objects situated as far as 75 miles.

IRIS-T SLM is another apparatus for defending against enemy aircraft, with a target range of up to 25 miles. In addition, the IRIS-T system can intercept enemy planes, helicopters, or drones at altitudes up to 20 kilometers. This system is capable of easily eliminating maneuvering and anti-radar missiles.

The Patriot system, termed as the "god of war" by Ukrainians, has demonstrated its worth multiple times. This American-made system can take out targets within a 62-mile radius from its launcher. Moreover, a radar operating on waves 3.5 to 7.5 cm long can simultaneously monitor 125 airborne objects and guide missiles to nine units. It's also notable that Patriot missiles can essentially intercept any maneuvering missile, thanks in part to their maximum speed of 5 Mach.

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