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West to supply Ukraine with air defense systems to revitalize its domestic defense industry

West to supply Ukraine with air defense systems to revitalize its domestic defense industry Ukraine today needs Western missiles and air defense systems (photo: Getty Images)

The delivery of air defense and missile systems by Western countries to Ukraine remains critically important in the short and medium term. This will serve as a key factor in the development of the Ukrainian defense-industrial base, capable of sustaining the country's military efforts against Russia in the long term, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

As reported, on January 6, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk, announced that in the first week of 2024, the Ministry of Defense completed the approval process for approximately 15 new types of weaponry and military equipment for the Armed Forces. This includes robotic systems, drones, electronic warfare systems (EW), engineering equipment, upgraded combat armored vehicles, as well as anti-tank guided missile systems and ammunition.

"This approvals process allows the Ukrainian MoD to make agreements with defense manufacturers and to issue the weapons to the Ukrainian military. Havryliuk stated that the Ukrainian Armed Forces completed the approvals process for more than 200 types of domestically produced weapons and military equipment in 2023," the statement said.

Meanwhile, according to a report, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated on January 4 that American assistance remains critically important as Ukraine is not yet able to defend itself. However, Miller noted that this aid will not need to continue at its current level, as Ukraine is working to expand its defense industry to be able to stand on its own feet.

Previously, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assessed that recent large-scale Russian attacks on Ukrainian industrial facilities aimed to undermine Ukraine's ability to develop its defense capabilities and sustain its military efforts against the Russian aggressor.

"The configuration of Ukraine’s air defense umbrella, including Western-provided air defense systems, in targeted areas have proven vital to Ukraine’s ability to defend against Russian missiles, particularly ballistic missiles," notes the Institute for the Study of War.

The report highlighted that during the massive Russian attack on January 2, Patriot systems enabled Ukrainian forces to successfully intercept a record-breaking 10 units of hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.

However, ISW indicates, as reported by The New York Times, that White House and Pentagon officials have warned that the U.S. may soon be unable to supply Patriot air defense missiles to Ukraine.

Military aid from Western countries to Ukraine

On January 2, Russia carried out another large-scale missile strike on Ukrainian territory, focusing its main force on Kyiv. Ukrainian Air Defense Forces successfully intercepted 10 hypersonic Kinzhal missiles targeted at the capital using American Patriot systems.

In December, Germany provided Ukraine with a new package of military aid, including the Patriot air defense missile system.

It was revealed in early December that the second group of Ukrainian military personnel had completed training in Germany to operate Patriot air defense systems.