Ukraine Needs NASAMS to Defend Against Russian Cruise Missiles

August 5, 2022

Air Force Magazine:

Russia’s long-range bombers fire cruise missiles against Ukrainian civilian and military infrastructure nearly unimpeded, so Ukraine needs surface-to-air missile systems that can track and destroy cruise missiles, a senior Ukrainian defense official told Air Force Magazine.

Russian TU-160 and TU-135 strategic bombers take off in Russian airspace, off-limits territory for attack with the U.S.-supplied weapons that Ukraine now operates. Once airborne, they launch deadly cruise missiles capable of hitting targets across Ukraine. Then the bombers safely land, having never been in danger.

Ukraine’s network of surface-to-air missile systems has helped. The Norwegian-built National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), which is also used to protect Washington, D.C., will be an added advantage. But two systems announced by President Joe Biden on July 1 and under contract by the U.S. government for Ukraine are believed to be months away from delivery.

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