US sends key air defense components to Ukraine amidst growing military aid
The recent $200 million aid package from the US to Ukraine, under the presidential withdrawal initiative, raises speculation about the assembly of a hybrid FrankenSAM air defense system with AIM-9M missiles. Here are the three signs that point to a potential start of production for this system
Defense Express writes about it.
The aid package includes "air defense system components," suggesting a transfer of unnamed elements from the US military reserves. Alongside this, the package features "equipment for the protection of critical national infrastructure." These details, coupled with the provision of AIM-9M missiles, align with the development of a close-range air defense system dubbed FrankenSAM.
Though not officially confirmed, the transfer strongly hints at providing components for assembling a system with a target destruction range of approximately 5 km, akin to the MIM-72 Chaparral. The recent announcement in Washington about sharing technical documentation for FrankenSAM projects adds weight to this assumption.
The simplicity of integrating AIM-9M missiles makes them a feasible choice for this project, possibly resembling the British AIM-132 ASRAAM air-to-air missile system. The parallel guidance systems and past success in adapting similar missiles support this idea.
The undisclosed method of implementation echoes the British model, involving a radar-equipped armored chassis and missile pre-launch systems. This suggests that Ukraine could assemble similar FrankenSAMs locally or repurpose existing Soviet air defense systems.
Notably, the aid package includes a variety of military equipment, from missiles to HIMARS and HARM anti-radar missiles to small arms ammunition. This comprehensive support aims to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities amid growing tensions.
While the exact strategy for incorporating these components remains undisclosed, the aid signals a significant step in enhancing Ukraine's military capabilities.