Ukraine Needs More Defense Systems to Counter Iranian Drones: Following reports that Ukraine is at risk of running out of air defense systems at a time when Russia becomes increasingly reliant on Iranian-manufactured drones, Kyiv has reportedly asked the United States for more air defense systems in the next round of military aid.
ABC News reported on Tuesday how a letter sent by a top Ukrainian official to senior members of Congress asked for help in obtaining new air defense systems. The letter requested legislators to put pressure on the White House to once again increase the amount of support granted by the U.S. government to Ukraine.
The letter, which was obtained by ABS, was reportedly sent by Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament. Stefanchuk specifically requested C-RAMS, a kind of mobile air defense system that he says would help protect “important objects, especially crucial power plants” from Russian drone attacks.
Kyiv also appears to be specifically requesting the land-based version of the C-RAM air defense system, which is commonly used on ships.
Kyiv is not purposely circumnavigating the White House, however, with one senior Ukrainian politician reportedly telling ABC that official requests have been submitted to the Biden administration, but the Pentagon has yet to confirm the request or whether the U.S. federal government is taking steps to provide more air defense systems.
Ukraine “At Risk” of Running Out Of Air Defense Systems
Security and defense think tank RUSI said recently that the West should “avoid complacency” over Ukraine’s urgent need to bolster air-defense capacity. In a report by analysts Justin Bronk, Nick Reynolds, and Jack Watling, Ukraine’s dwindling supply of surface-to-air missile systems (SAMs) was described as a threat to the Ukrainian military’s ability to deal with a growing number of drone attacks across the country.
“If Ukrainian SAMs [surface-to-air missile systems] are not resupplied with ammunition, and ultimately augmented and replaced with Western equivalents over time, Russian Aerospace Forces will regain the ability to pose a major threat,” the report reveals.
If Ukraine doesn’t receive more air defense systems, the analysts claim, Russian Aerospace Forces could pose a “major threat” to the country. To solve the shortage, the think tank recommended that “large numbers of additional man-portable air-defence systems” are required, as well as new radar-guided anti-aircraft guns.
In the medium term, the analysts recommended that Ukraine needs to develop a cost-effective way to defend against the Shahed-136, an Iranian drone that can deliver an explosive impact equivalent to three 155mm artillery shells.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.