Britain is installing a Sky Saber anti-aircraft defense system in Poland. It was announced by British Defense Minister Ben Wallace during his visit to Warsaw today. London wants to support NATO’s eastern wing and strengthen Poland’s defenses against a possible Russian attack.
“We will deploy a Sky Saber air defense system in Poland with medium-range missiles and a hundred soldiers to reassure Poland that we are standing by its side and protecting its airspace from Russian aggression,” Wallace said.
As per Wallace, the system is the latest and has only recently been put into service. There are no other details yet.
Earlier it was reported that the new air defense system is designed against the latest Russian fighters, including the fifth generation, i.e. Su-57. Ben Wallace had claimed in December that the new Sky Saber air defense system is capable of hitting a tennis ball sized target flying at supersonic speed.
The recent Russian attack missile attack on the Ukrainian base of Yavoriv near the Polish border prompted the British to consider moving their Sky Saber anti-aircraft system to the area near Rzeszów, where the U.S. Patriot PAC-3 missiles are already deployed. Rzeszów is about 60 km from the Krakovec border crossing on the way to Lviv. Poland has a 240-kilometre-long border with Ukraine.
The location of the deployment and the operational range suggest that these systems can now only protect the territory of Poland and not the base of Yavoriv. Even if moved directly to the border, the base would be on the edge of the range of these air defense systems.
However, retired British Brigadier General Alan Richmond told BNE Intellinews that such systems could protect Ukrainians’ airspace because they could destroy higher-flying targets.
A unit of the British Air Defense was sent to Poland as part of the long-planned NATO Ramstein legacy exercise 2022. The Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise, to be held in June, is going to be the largest ground-based IAMD exercise in the world. It will bring together NATO IAMD Allies and partners to build theatre-wide procedural interoperability. It is being held in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
CAMM Sky Sabre
CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) Sky Saber by European defence company MBDA is a modern air defense system. The missiles are designed to reach a speed of 3600 km / h and can hit even extremely small targets. It can be used against missiles with multiple warheads or missiles with a flat flight path, which was used to attack the Ukrainian base, where NATO soldiers sometimes worked as part of their training. Sky Saber is a mobile system that includes a vehicle with Giraffe radar and a Landceptor launcher. Land Ceptor can be brought into action in less than 20 minutes. The missiles can be launched in quick succession to target as many as eight different threats at once, even if obstacles such as trees and terrain are in the way.
CAMM system was adopted by the British Army in December last year. It is designed to replace the Rapier anti-aircraft systems that have been deployed since 1971.
The composition of one complex includes mobile launchers with 8 or 12 missiles, radar detection and target designation and a modular integrated air defense / missile defense system MIC4AD. All air defense systems are installed on the MAN SV NH60 (8 × 8) chassis. The new SAMM anti-aircraft missiles are capable of hitting fighters, drones and laser-guided bombs. According to information from open sources, the Giraffe radar for detection and target designation of the SAAB Sky Saber air defense system is capable of detecting targets at a distance of up to 120 km. The SAMM missile strikes targets at an altitude of 1 to 25 km.
Patriot Missiles deployed in Poland
US Vice President Kamala Harris last week confirmed that two batteries of U.S. patriot missiles had moved to Poland and were located near Rzeszów.
The range of patriots varies by type. The PAC-3 m version is effective against ballistic missiles up to 20 or 35 kilometres, depending on the variant, but the versions designed to destroy ballistic missiles are less effective against aircraft and missiles with a flat flight path.
The missiles have a speed of up to 3800 km / h, and they can also destroy precision guided bombs, drones and planes.
No Fly Zone over Ukraine
President Volodymyr Zelensky has been asking for a no fly zone over Ukraine, which the U.S. and NATO members have refused as they said it would lead to a direct confrontation with Russia. The Alliance partners say that the move could trigger a third world war. The alliance partners are also worried about body bags as the Russian S-300 and S-400s have been already proven in the current Russian special operations against Ukraine. Russia has taken a great deal of losses destroying Ukrainian S-300 units which are also near obsolete.