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Ukrainian Air Force reveals number of missiles intercepted by Patriot system

Ukrainian Air Force reveals number of missiles intercepted by Patriot system Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

After obtaining certain samples of Western air defense systems, the Armed Forces were able to target hypersonic and ballistic missiles used by Russian occupiers. The Ukrainian Air Defense Forces have already intercepted dozens of such types of weaponry, reports the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, in an interview with Novynarnia.

"Currently, we have already downed 15 Kinzhals, plus dozens of downed ballistic missiles headed for Kyiv. The Patriot has proven itself," said the colonel.

The representative of the Armed Forces notes that as of September last year, the Defense Forces had no Western models of weaponry - only Soviet.

The situation with Western anti-air defense systems

"Yes, the S-125 system in small quantities. Yes, Osa is in the Air Defense Forces. Yes, Shilka, anti-aircraft artillery. There were no mobile firing groups. We began destroying enemy missiles and drones mainly with Buk-M1 and S-300 missiles," he said.

At the beginning of the large-scale invasion by Russian occupiers, Ukraine consistently appealed to partner countries either to close its skies or provide defense tools.

"In October 2022, we received the first complexes from partners: when (Russian) shelling of (Ukrainian) infrastructure began, the first NASAMS arrived. Two batteries, with only three installations. This was very little. Then the IRIS-T battery arrived. It also went in the capital direction because everything was flying toward Kyiv at that time," Ihnat explained.

Defense of Kyiv's sky

In this context, he explains that the best cover is provided to the areas most attacked by the enemy.

"And during the six months of the intense heating season, most of the strikes were taken by Kyiv itself," the colonel noted.

The representative of the Air Force also adds that these Western complexes couldn't be placed in advanced positions because the Russian occupiers could destroy them with their artillery.

One hundred percent result

"Both NASAMS and IRIS-T work great, provide a 100% result: one missile goes to one target. Partners see this - and give us several more systems, which we direct to other regions... But still, this is not enough - there is a very high consumption of missiles. Plus, the exhaustion of air defense, the equipment is breaking," the spokesperson explained.

According to the representative of the Air Force, to defend against ballistic missiles now, the Defense Forces need ground systems "with modern missiles, like the Patriot, which proved that it can shoot down Kinzhals - this happened for the first time on May 4."

Shooting down Kinzhals

Previously, Ukrainian air defense could not shoot down Kinzhals, but with the appearance of the Patriot SAM system in the army, it became possible.

Defense Express reported that the Ukrainian military could first shoot down a Kinzhal on May 4 and published photographs of debris from a certain missile. Later, this information was confirmed by the Air Force.

After that, during the night of May 16, the Russians again attacked Ukraine with Kinzhals, and the Air Defense Forces shot down all six enemy missiles of this type.

Additionally, on July 26, over the Khmelnytskyi region, the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces also shot down Russian Kinzhals, and the regional military administration reported on the consequences of the missile attack.

Number of missiles in Russia

In early November, the representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Major General Vadym Skibitskyi, told RBC-Ukraine that there were approximately 870 precision missiles in Russia's reserves that could hit targets at a distance of over 350 kilometers.