Ukraine would have had twice as many air defense systems if 2020-2021 state contract had not been disrupted
Due to the disruption of the state defense contract in 2020-2021, the Ukrainian army was insufficiently supplied with weapons before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine
The former Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenko, said this in an interview with Ukrainian Fakty media.
“In November 2018, we held a firing test of anti-aircraft missile systems at the training ground. As a rule, the heads of enterprises exhibit their promising models at such events. We held a meeting with them and raised a serious question about strengthening the air defense system. We realized that what we had was clearly not enough. After that, we calculated the capabilities of enterprises that manufacture various types of air defense systems and concluded that, with appropriate funding, it is quite possible to almost double the number of air defense missile divisions from 2019 to 2023,” Muzhenko said.
The general emphasized that it was the Ukrainian military-industrial complex that should have produced the weapons in question. He also noted that at that time there was no question of purchasing weapons abroad.
“At that time, no one from abroad was selling us anti-aircraft missile systems,” Muzhenko said.
The general added that there were calculations to almost double the number of anti-aircraft missile divisions. But this was not realized.
“Completely different decisions and approaches were already prevailing. The failure of the state defense contract in 2020-2021 led to this. It was the air defense system,” the general noted.
In addition, Muzhenko said that old anti-aircraft missile systems were also restored in Ukraine.
“Already in February 2019, we conducted their tests at one of the southern training grounds. Through certain modifications of the S-125, Tor-300, S-300 B1 and other systems, there was a real opportunity to increase the number of these divisions,” Muzhenko said.
He also recalled that in the spring of 2019, the domestic Hrom complex was tested, which had a missile range of up to 500 km. The first test of this system took place in April 2019.
“And we still do not have it in service with the Armed Forces. We are now asking our partners for missile systems with a range of 300 kilometers. And our Hrom could have been even better. These are the realities,” General Muzhenko added.