Espreso. Global
Review

Ukraine to receive new SAM superior to Patriot. Serhiy Zgurets' column

5 June, 2024 Wednesday
12:49

Italy will provide Ukraine with one more SAMP/T system. Being one of the most modern long-range SAM systems, it offers greater mobility and a range of 150 km for destroying aircraft and 35 km for destroying ballistic targets, surpassing the Patriot system

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Search for new weapons capabilities - Osa SAM

To begin with, I will take a look at new weapons capabilities that bring results, i.e. those that are in use but go unnoticed and then suddenly come into view. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, specifically the Bila Tserkva Air Defense Regiment, showed a video of the Osa SAM, which had been equipped with new missiles. This SAM is now actively engaged in destroying Russian targets such as cruise missiles and drones, including Orlans. This is usually done with Soviet missile stockpiles, which are quite limited.

The video reveals that, in addition to the standard missiles for the Osa SAM, this complex is equipped with R-73 short-range air-to-air missiles. This represents another manifestation of the famous FrankenSAM concept, where previously incompatible elements are combined. The R-73 is typically a short-range missile for aircraft. However, it has now been integrated with the Osa SAM, suggesting that this system can potentially engage air targets at a range of about 12 km. The key factor is for the homing head to lock onto the enemy target. Furthermore, the R-73 missile can be manufactured in Ukraine, as both the homing head and other components can be produced by our enterprises. I believe this project has the potential for scaling up.

SAMs for Ukraine from partners

And now we expect to receive other long-range systems from our partners in addition to the short-range Osa system. Italy is posed to provide us with another battery or complex called SAMP/T. This is one of the most modern long-range SAMs. It is adapted to fight aircraft and cruise missiles, and even ballistic missiles like the Russian Kinzhal.

In some respects, this SAM is even better than the Patriot because it has better mobility, a range of 150 kilometers to destroy aircraft and about 35 kilometers to destroy ballistic targets.

When will we receive it? The interesting aspect here is that the Italian press, particularly La Stampa, reported that this system has already been delivered. On the other hand, there were reports indicating that this SAM would be transferred swiftly, possibly by June 13, before the G-7 meeting. Therefore, we hope that the reinforcement of our air defense will be quick enough.

Frontline update

There were 137 combat clashes on the frontline on June 3. This indicates an increase in the dynamics along the entire frontline.

Vitaliy Lytvyn, Hero of Ukraine and officer of the Rubizh Brigade’s intelligence unit currently fighting in the Kharkiv direction, stated that the brigade's units are currently deployed in multiple areas, including Kharkiv, Kupyansk, and Lyman. So, the brigade undertakes the majority of tasks in all three areas, each holding significant importance, with the brigade giving its full commitment. Presently, the brigade's aerial reconnaissance team is raising funds for FPV and Mavic drones. These drones are used to adjust Russian artillery, ensuring that Russian troops cannot advance towards Ukrainian units and defensive positions during assault operations. Additionally, FPV drones can offset the shortage of ammunition and effectively target Russian dugouts and equipment. FPV and Mavic drones assist in neutralizing Russian forces and equipment as they approach Ukrainian positions.

The officer noted that in the Lyman direction, Russian forces conducted assault operations with the support of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other armored vehicles. In the Kharkiv direction, where units of the Rubizh brigade are also operating,  Russian troops are not using armored vehicles, but are deploying a large number of their infantry. In the Kupyansk direction, Russian troops attempted to act swiftly and leverage the element of surprise, employing buggies for their maneuvers. For instance, they would dispatch one buggy with an infantry unit, and if successful, they would send two more buggies with infantry to continue their advance. However, if unsuccessful, Russian infantry accompanying the buggy would be eliminated, prompting them to halt the assault.

Lytvyn added that the Russian army is very experienced. “Brigade-level commanders are experienced, they have combat operations behind them. They fought both in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in Syria, and many of their servicemen took part in combat operations in Chechnya, Georgia and other countries. In other words, they are experienced commanders who can use their means, both equipment and manpower, quite cunningly. However, there is an indicator signaling the low morale and psychological state of the Russian troops in the Kharkiv direction. When Ukrainian troops encountered Akhmat units, the Akhmat fighters positioned themselves behind the main Russian units, overseeing them to prevent any attempts to flee.

The commander of the Rubizh brigade's intelligence unit noted that the reconnaissance men conduct reconnaissance activities, bypass Russian platoon strongholds, carry out assault operations, and sometimes perform tasks to hold platoon strongholds in hotter areas of certain defense lines. Before each operation, several plans are worked out at once, i.e., certain operational actions that must be performed under certain conditions. When planning an operation, reconnaissance is conducted to study the Russian moral and psychological state, their positions and firing points, and the main locations of the artillery. If there is effective reconnaissance, followed by professional task planning, then everything always goes according to plan.

The Hero of Ukraine emphasized that the most important thing for a reconnaissance man is intelligence, regardless of age and gender. The main thing is that the tasks are performed efficiently, while preserving the lives and health of the servicemen. Untrained personnel are useless for a commander, so all mobilized personnel are immediately sent for basic military training. Trained soldiers are much more effective in performing their tasks, they return from battles alive, and therefore we do not lose our citizens and do not need to recruit new ones. Recruitment to the brigade is ongoing, and the range of positions is very wide, from infantryman, assault rifleman, and artilleryman. A lot of people with technical education are needed, because these are both reconnaissance and destruction means. Nowadays, the whole warfare is concentrated on technical means so that we can save the most lives of our personnel and effectively destroy the enemy.

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