While since the beginning of the conflict, the West had been confined to reacting on the international scene against Russia, in particular by delivering only light or defensive armaments to Ukraine, the dynamic seems to have evolved considerably in recent days. Thus, after the announcement of the delivery of several dozen T-72M1 tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles drawn from Czech army reserves, it is now Slovakia's turn to announce the transfer of its unique S-300PMU long-range anti-aircraft defense battery to Ukraine, information confirmed by Slovak Prime Minister Edouar Heger on Twitter. Great Britain, for its part, has announced that it would quickly transfer Maastif and Ridgeback armored vehicles to Ukraine, armored personnel carriers protected against IEDs that can replace the BTRs lost by the Ukrainian armies, and above all give them greater mobility in the theater of operations.
The anti-aircraft system S-300PMU or SA-20A Gargoyle in the NATO taxonomy, is an anti-aircraft system with a long detection range of 300 km, and capable of intercepting aircraft up to 150 km. It implements several types of missiles, the 5V55U with semi-active guidance (150 km) the 48N6 with mixed guidance (150 km) and the new 9M96E missile with active guidance which also equips the S-400 system. Entering service in 1993, it was for a long time the most advanced anti-aircraft system in service with the Russian armies, until the entry into service of the S-400 systems in 2007. The Slovak Air Force had a unique S-300PMU battery inherited from its participation with the Czech Republic. Other European countries have the same system, Bulgaria aligns 6 batteries and Greece 4 batteries. It can therefore be expected that other systems of this type will be transferred to Ukraine in the days and weeks to come, especially as thehe Ukrainian forces have lost more than twenty S-300 launchers since the beginning of the conflict, as well as at least 5 radars, more than half of its initial inventory.
These successive announcements are not only national initiatives, as one might think. Yesterday, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, announced that the Alliance would now increase its military support to Ukraine, this time including heavy armaments such as tanks or anti-aircraft systems of Soviet invoice to accelerate the implementation by the armies of Kyiv, but also purely Western equipment, which will require training of Ukrainian operators, but which could, once in service, give them significant operational added value. Moreover, unlike the equipment inherited from the Warsaw Pact, which is less and less present in NATO forces, the Alliance has much larger reserves of Western equipment to support the war effort in Kyiv.
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