The Netherlands will join the United States and Germany in delivering Patriot systems to Ukraine

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D’après une évaluation du renseignement britannique, le missile qui a détruit un immeuble et fait plus de tués 40 à Dnipro [est de l’Ukraine]on January 14, will become the Kh-22 “Bouria” [code Otan : AS-4 Kitchen]fired by Russian Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bombers… and not Ukrainian air defense missiles, as Moscow implies.

The Kh-22 is a less precise anti-ship missile when used against ground targets, its radar guidance system being unable to distinguish targets located in urban areas. Moreover, in June 2022, a machine of this type crashed in the Kremenchuk shopping center [au moins 18 tués, ndlr.

Cela étant, les forces ukrainiennes n’ont pas les capacités pour intercepter de tels missiles, conçu à l’époque de l’Union soviétique pour viser les porte-avions américains. Pour rappel, d’une masse approchant les six tonnes, le Kh-22 emporte une charge conventionnelle de 1000 kg et atteint une vitesse supérieure à Mach 4 au moment de toucher sa cible.

« Il est impossible d’abattre des missiles Kh-22 avec les moyens dont nous disposons dans notre arsenal », a ainsi déploré le colonel Yuri Ignat, le porte-parole de la force aérienne ukrainienne, le 16 janvier. « Même les systèmes de défense aérienne les plus modernes dont nous disposons – par exemple le S-300 qui fonctionne dans cette région – ne peuvent pas abattre le missile Kh-22 », a-t-il insisté. Et de préciser que sur les « 210 » engins de ce type tirés par les forces russes depuis le 24 février, aucun n’a pu être intercepté par la défense aérienne ukrainienne.

Aussi, pour le colonel Ignat, l’Ukraine a besoin de batteries de défense aérienne plus avancées, comme le Patriot américain et le SAMP/T [Sol-Air Moyenne Portée / Terrestre] Franco-Italian… Even if Ukraine has received the NASAMS and IRIS-T SLM systems… not in sufficient quantities to ensure the protection of cities like the Dnipro.

However, France and Italy Rome are discussing the possibility of delivering SAMP/T batteries [encore appelé Mamba] in kyiv… A priori, each of the two countries will provide different components to form a complete system. When can it operate, given the long operator training?

Obvious questions also arose for the two Patriot batteries promised by the United States and Germany. In this regard, the Netherlands has expressed its intention to join the American and German efforts.

“We intend to join in what you are doing with Germany on the Patriot project,” said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, during an interview with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 17.

The Royal Netherlands Army has four Patriot systems, acquired in 1987 and recently modernized to extend its service life to 2040. One has been placed in reserve and another has been deployed in Slovakia, with one German unit, within the NATO framework. . In addition, last July the Netherlands was authorized to acquire 96 Patriot MIM-104E GMT missiles for an estimated amount of $1.19 billion.

A priori, there will be no question of Mr Rutte sending batteries to Ukraine. “That’s not necessarily the whole system,” he later explained. “It could also be equipment that is part of the system,” he added, referring to assistance for “interoperability and training”.

The Patriot system consists of eight tractor-erector launchers [TEL] equipped with interceptor missiles, fire control station, AN/MPQ-53 radar, antennas for transmission and anti-radar jamming and mobile generators to run it all.

If the head of the Dutch government isn’t talking about delivering “the whole system” and his Minister of Defense, Kajsa Ollongren, indicated that the details of this contribution are yet to be determined, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenski, doesn’t understand it that way. “Another Patriot battery will be supplied to Ukraine. Thank you Mark! “, he launched during his daily address. And to add that kyiv will have “three guaranteed Patriot batteries”.

Photo: Dutch Ministry of Defence

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