The Ukrainian Air Force has reported that Iskander ballistic missiles were shot down by the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system over the Kyiv region on May 29, 2023.
On the night of May 29, the Air Force repelled a massive strike using strategic Kh-101 / Kh-555 cruise missiles and Shahed-131 / 136 kamikaze drones. A few hours later, however, Russia launched more missiles, including ballistic missiles, at the Kyiv region.
According to the General Staff, air defense forces were able to shoot down a total of 11 of the 11 Iskander-M ballistic missiles and Iskander-K cruise missiles. Later, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Colonel Yuriy Ignat commented on the situation.
He stated that Russian Iskander-M missiles had been shot down in Kyiv. In this connection, “it can be concluded” that an American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system was used to destroy them.
Ukraine said that it had downed six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles in a single night, in what would be a major setback for Moscow’s efforts to develop an unstoppable next-generation weapon.
Ukrainian Patriot missile delivered with with an Active Electronically Scanned Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, is a theater-wide, surface-to-air missile defense system built by Raytheon Technologies Corp. and considered one of the most advanced air defense systems in the U.S. arsenal.
The system was first used in combat during the 1991 Gulf War, with batteries protecting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, and later used during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
How does the Patriot system work?
The Patriot is a mobile system that usually includes powerful radar, a control station, a power generator, launch stations and other support vehicles.
The system has different capabilities depending on the type of interceptor – the missile fired from the battery – used.
The earlier PAC-2 interceptor uses a blast-fragmentation warhead, while the PAC-3 family of missiles uses more advanced hit-to-kill technology.
It is not clear what kind of Patriot systems have been donated to Ukraine, but it is likely that Kyiv has at least some of the newer PAC-3 CRI interceptors.
The system’s radar has a range of more than 150 kilometers, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said in 2015.
A newly produced single Patriot battery costs upward of $1 billion, with $400 million for the system and $690 million for the missiles in a battery, according to CSIS. Each missile costs around $4 million and a launcher vehicle costs around $10 million.
Ukraine has said it needs more air defense systems to protect against the barrage of missile and drone strikes from Russian forces.
The United States has also provided a pair of National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, to Ukraine.
While the Patriot system is designed to intercept threats like aircraft and ballistic missiles, it can also shoot down the “kamikaze” drones Russia has frequently sent to hit Ukrainian critical infrastructure. But it would be an extremely expensive way to destroy drones that cost only thousands of dollars.
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