Zelenskyy says Ukraine ‘receives’ NASAMS air defense systems from US

26 September 2022, 10:49 AM
NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system (Photo:ukrmilitary.com)

NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system (Photo:ukrmilitary.com)

Ukraine has received NASAMS air defense systems from the United States, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with U.S. news channel CBS News on Sept. 25.

He thanked U.S. President Joe Biden and the Congress for the decision.

However, it was not clear from Zelenzkyy’s comments whether the weapons were already on Ukrainian soil. The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Sept. 16 that two NASAMS systems would arrive in Ukraine in about two months.

In a clarifying statement issued on Sept. 26, Ukrainian Presidential Press Secretary Sehiy Nikiforov said that so far Kyiv has only received Washington's consent to the supply of the air defenses, which was what Zelenskyy was referring to.

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At the same time, Zelenskyy said that the systems were “not even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, and homes of Ukrainians.” In this regard, he called on the United States to show leadership and give Ukraine more air defense systems.

“Why do we need this?” Zelenskyy asked.

“We need the security in order to attract our Ukrainians to come back home. If it’s safe, they will come, settle, work here and will pay taxes and then we won’t have a deficit of $5 billion in our budget.”

According to Zelenskyy, as of today the United States gives Ukraine $1.5 billion every month to support its budget in fighting the war.

“However, if our people will come back – and they do want to come back very much, they have a lot of motivation – they will work here,” he said.

“And then the United States will not have to continue giving us this support.”

“I’m sorry, I’m using this language about the war, but it will be a win-win for everybody. For the United States, it will be significant savings, but for us, it will be an opportunity to secure our territory and make it safe for our population.”

NASAMS is a Norwegian-American air defense system. The new military aid package approved by the United States on Aug. 24 provides for the supply of six such systems to Ukraine.

The NASAMS battery usually includes three fire platoons (54 missiles), united in an information network.

Due to the fact that all 54 missiles of the battery can be fired at various targets within 12 seconds, it can be used to protect air bases, sea ports, settlements, and military forces. The system is effective against UAVs, helicopters, cruise missiles, and aircraft.

NASAMS in numbers:

• maximum damage range – 25-50 km;

• maximum lesion height – 15-25 km;

• maximum missile speed – 4,900 km/h;

• one battery costs about $65 million.

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