Ukraine warns that it cannot defend against Iranian ballistic missiles

Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesman Yuriy Ihnat briefs the press in Kyiv in 2022. (Evgen Kotenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

If Russia acquires Iranian ballistic missiles for use in its war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Air Force has warned it does not have the means to defend against them.

Russia is still ready to receive drones and Fateh and Zolfaghar missiles from Iran. These are ballistic missiles. We do not have the means to defeat them,” Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman for the Air Force Command, said on Ukrainian television on Monday.

As of November, Iran was preparing to send about 1,000 additional weapons, including short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, officials from a Western country keeping a close eye on Iran’s weapons. the program told CNN at the time.

In October, Reuters quoted Iranian officials and diplomats as saying that Tehran had promised to supply the weapons to Russia. “The Russians have asked for more Iranian drones and ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, especially the Fateh and Zulfaqar family of missiles,” one of the Iranian diplomats briefed on the flight told Reuters.

The Iranian government admitted in November that it had sent a limited number of drones to Russia in the months before it began its invasion of Ukraine, but denied supplying military equipment for use in the war in Ukraine.

“Russia has Kinjal missiles that hit a ballistic trajectory,” Ihnat said on Monday. They have the Kh-22 that hit a ballistic trajectory, they have the S-300 and S-400 that hit a ballistic trajectory. These are the challenges and threats we face at the moment.”

Ihnat said that in order to “defeat ballistic threats”, Ukraine needed air defense systems such as the latest generation American Patriot PAC-3, and the French-made SAMP/T (Sol-Air Moyenne Portée/Terrestre)

The United States has not announced details about the Patriot air defense system, which it plans to supply to Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers were set earlier this month to begin training on the Patriot missile system.

Previous reporting from Kylie Atwood, Ellie Kaufman, Oren Lieberman, and Haley Pritzky in Washington, and Celine Khalidi in Abu Dhabi.

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