NATO is scrambling to bolster Ukraine’s air defences

Date:

NATO is scrambling to bolster Ukraine's air defences

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Monday, October 17, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • “The European Sky Shield Initiative is in charge of getting member countries to invest in cutting-edge missile defense systems and connect them to those of other countries so that the alliance can get a complete picture of Russian airborne threats.

  • The recent appointment by the Kremlin to serve as the war effort’s commander has also been emphasized.

  • One of the lessons is the number of artillery rounds fired by Ukraine and the impact on Russian forces and equipment.

  • The senior NATO source stated that the Russian assaults on civilians “will continue” and that the arrival of the Iranian-made Mohajer-6 and Shahed drones “places stress on Ukrainian air defences.”

  • The head of German defense, Lambrecht, went into further detail about what, in her opinion, the European air defense programme should take into account.

On Thursday, 14 alliance members and Finland announced at the same time a new missile defence system that covers the whole continent and is linked together. Officials said this was a must because of how badly Russia has hurt Ukrainian cities.

After hearing the news, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said, “This commitment is even more important now that we see Russia firing missiles at random and killing civilians and damaging important infrastructure in Ukraine.”

The European Sky Shield Initiative is in charge of getting member countries to invest in cutting-edge missile defence systems and connect them to those of other countries so that the alliance can get a complete picture of Russian airborne threats.

When German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht talked about the plan, she said that European air defense had “gaps.” She stated that we live in threatening and challenging times, so we must fill these gaps as soon as possible.

Even though it is only a tiny part of Sky Shield, the US already has two Aegis Ashore ballistic missile stations in Romania and Poland. These are meant to protect against the threat that Iranian ballistic missiles could pose.

Despite the lack of specifics, the effort’s complexity is apparent. After the contract was signed, Latvian State Secretary Janis Garisons told POLITICO that connecting all those systems was likely the most crucial assignment. Building a “combined image to make sure it is interoperable will take time and effort, and that might be the real problem.”

The Netherlands’ defence minister, Kajsa Ollongren, told reporters that “what we did this morning was recognise that we need to do more, and we want the industry to do more and to be in front of the development of air defense systems.” Additionally, we understand that we shouldn’t approach it alone, so we are joining forces.

Due to the high cost and long development time of advanced air defense systems, it will almost certainly take years to build and put into service any operational network. Since governments have been reluctant to share such sensitive information in the past, it will be more difficult to set up advanced networking systems and rules for the exchange of data and communication.

If this effort is combined with the push to give NATO-level weapons right away, countries will likely have to make hard choices about where to spend their money. However, the devastation Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian people has changed European perceptions, demonstrating to the continent for the first time since World Conflict II what an industrial-scale war looks like.

The Kremlin’s recent choice of someone to lead the war effort has also been brought up. A NATO source told reporters outside of the meetings on Wednesday, under the condition of anonymity because of the rules, “His nickname is “General Armageddon,” and he certainly earned it in the air war in Syria.”

Ollongren added that the new air defence systems being sent to Ukraine are a “signal to Putin that the only thing he gains by performing these assaults on civilian infrastructure and entirely innocent civilians is that we are increasing our efforts to help Ukraine.” In the case of Ukraine, if air defences are what they require, they will be provided.

This week, NATO leaders said they learned from the conflict after sending artillery, anti-armour rockets, and ammunition to Ukraine for months. They are quickly assessing how much ammo is still in European depots. One of the lessons is the number of artillery rounds fired by Ukraine and the impact on Russian forces and equipment. This information is very important for figuring out how much money should be spent on defense overall.

With each unguided missile fired from ships in the Black Sea and bombers flying inside Russian airspace, the threat to people in Ukraine, where Russian forces have already used up most of their precision-guided cruise missiles, increases.

The senior NATO source said that Russian attacks on civilians “will continue” and that the arrival of the Iranian-made Mohajer-6 and Shahed drones “puts pressure on Ukrainian air defenses.” They’re harder to find, and you don’t want to waste expensive defensive systems on weak enemies.

The head of German defence, Lambrecht, went into further detail about what, in her opinion, the European air defence programme should take into account. We’ll move quickly on the first things we’ll do together, like buying Patriot units and the cutting-edge IRIS-T system, which Germany just started selling to Ukraine. In Ukraine, the first of four IRIS-T teams has already arrived.

The Patriot and IRIS-T would be efficient against missiles at a low-to medium-level. She also brought up the Israeli-made Arrow 3 for rockets with higher altitudes.

Although a decision has not yet been made, she continued, “I believe [Arrow 3] would be the best system… for the challenge in Europe.”

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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