UKRAINE AND “PATRIOTS”

The euphoria in Ukraine from receiving the long-awaited ATGMs “Jave-lin”has not finished, but the Ukrainian authorities, which have become popular, began to dream of more serious American weapons. Thus, the head of the Defense Ministry Stepan Poltorak proposed to launch budgetary funds for the purchase of US «Patriot» air defense systems.
In his opinion, it is expedient to finance the purchase with the help of possi-ble incomes to the state budget from the fight against smuggling. “For example, these four billion dollars would be enough for us to buy five battalions of air de-fense systems” Patriot “and completely close the border with Russia,” Poltorak said.
Thoughts about the Patriot systems visited the minds of the Ukrainian au-thorities for a reason. As experts believe, for more than 20 years, Ukraine has been wiping out the Soviet legacy of military equipment, and after the conflict in the Donbass region, a shortage was revealed in all positions: from ammunition to air-planes and air defense systems. Even the local media wrote that now only the sky is covered over the cities with a million population, and also the zones in the direction of the Donbass region and the Crimea.
What means of air defense are still available in Ukraine? The most advanced of these are S-300 Soviet-made. But this is not the modern S-300PM2 “Favorit” with a range of 200 km, and S-300PT (range 47 km) and S-300PS (75 km). At present, practically all of them have been removed from combat duty, the SS have remained. But if earlier there were 11 battalions of the PS, then some of them re-mained in the Crimea, and now somewhere there are around seven or eight. In ad-dition, Ukraine has at least one artillery brigade equiped with the «Buk» missile systems some «Tunguska» and «Osa» air defense systems, as well as the «Igla -1», «Igla-2» and «Strela» air defense systems.
Note that if in Soviet times there were about 500 radar in Ukraine, then in 2016 – not more than 100, that is Ukrainian air defense sysytem gradually “blinds”. But more importantly, the ZRK simply expires the expiry dates – some complexes are already about 40 years, the youngest – about 25.
“These complexes are no longer combat-ready, there are no accessories. They have come to an unfit state. The air defense of Ukraine has come to a serious decline, the old systems are barely dragging on the confrontation with modern means of air and space attack, “said Lieutenant General Aitech Bizhev, former deputy head of the Air Force of Russia for the CIS Joint Air Defense System. New weapons of air defense Ukraine did not receive from Russia, Moscow only sup-ported “what was in a state of combat readiness.” But also these rates ended when Kiev actually ceased cooperation within the CIS.
According to media reports, the Ukrainian military industry is not able to maintain the available air defense facilities in a state of combat readiness. There-fore, Ukraine has to go on a nod to the Americans and buy “Pat-riot”.
By the way, all spare parts for the S-300 are manufactured in Russia, and Poroshenko went to break all ties with Russia. Therefore, all the S-300 complexes were actually abandoned. By the way, we note that the «Patriots» are inferior in ef-ficiency to the «S-300», and even more to the «S-400» systems.
Such feedback is confirmed by the experience of using the American system. During the first war in Iraq in 1991, the missiles of the Patriots missed by the So-viet R-17 missiles. That caused the most serious casualties for the Americans. In Saudi Arabia in 2015, the Patriots also showed close to zero effectiveness against ballistic missiles launched by Yemeni husits. Against this background, Ukraine’s benefit from receiving «Patriots» is contraversial. Especially given that they want to cover themselves from Russia.
However, Russia is not going to attack Ukraine. Five battalions of the «Pa-triots» against the Russian Aerospace forces are not too many.
The question, however, is how much the Ukrainian fantasies are real. First of all from the financial point of view. If you look at the cost of one bttalion of the Patriot systems, then five for Ukraine will cost a lot. In addition, purchasing the complexes themselves, will require funds for their integration and training of mili-tary personnel, for additional ammunition supplies.
The Ukrainians themselves voiced incomprehensible figures of $ 4 billion for five divisions of the Patriots. In one division there are six or eight launchers, that is, it is almost 40 complexes. By comparison, at the end of 2017, the US planned to supply Poland with 16 Patriot missile launchers and 208 missiles to them for 10.5 billion dollars. That is almost seven times more expensive than Kiev counts.
Another question is technical. Experts predict a lot of problems with the in-tegration of Patriots into the defense system of Ukraine. The “Patriot” itself does not solve anything, it must be managed from a single command point, be tied to a single air defense system, to the information system and the system of interaction with fighter aircraft. Also, training will be required. The training will require a training ground, which is also absent in Ukraine.
Moreover, one can not help recalling the ability of the weapons sold or transferred to Ukraine to flow into other hands-either be captured by militias or sold, for example, in the conflict-ridden countries of the Middle East and North Af-rica, as Ukrainians have already been convicted of.

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