According to statements made by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Larry Johnson in an interview on the YouTube channel Judging Freedom on August 8th, Russian military forces have practically destroyed Ukraine’s air defence system during the past four months.
According to him, the near-total destruction of the Ukrainian air defence system has transpired over the past four months. As a result, Russian aircraft can now fly over the entirety of the territory of Ukraine without interference or practically without interference.
Johnson made it clear that the United States, NATO, and Ukraine do not possess any means to defend themselves against the aerial threats posed by Russia and that the Patriot air defence systems are inadequate against Russian forces.
In addition, the former expert stated that Kyiv’s unwavering assertions that it had shot down Russian missiles were ludicrous.
According to him, Ukraine continues to say it can shoot down many Russian missiles, ranging from hypersonic to normal. However, he explained that this is not the case and that such activity is not taking place.
Russia Depletes Ukrainian Air Defence
The Russians have destroyed many launchers and air defence radars supplied by the West and the Ukrainian stock. In addition, the massive number of surface-to-air missiles used by the Ukrainian Air Defence is a problematic issue that has to be addressed. The Western industry needs help meeting the requirements of the Ukrainian Air Defence. The Russians have done this to use the Iranian Shahed drones and dummy missiles. Their main objective is to force the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces to expend costly surface-to-air missiles. Every Shahed or dummy missile that is destroyed in this way accomplishes its mission. In addition, it is improbable that the Russians will run out of these basic versions of Shahed drones.
An unnamed Ukrainian Air Defence lieutenant colonel was quoted in a recent article published in “The Times,” which revealed the use of ASRAAMs in a ground role. The lieutenant colonel stated that the Ukrainian Air Defence monthly consumes between 150 and 160 Patriot – GEM-T (Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missile) and PAC-3 CRI (Cost Reduction Initiative) missiles. Even the mighty American arms industry can only cover a maximum of ten per cent of the annual consumption of the Ukrainian Air Defence.
It won’t be long before surface-to-air missiles are depleted from Patriot systems, European systems like IRIS-T (InfraRed Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled Surface Launched Medium Range), NASAMS (National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System), Crotale, and the Ukrainian S-300. The armaments industry in both the United States and Europe cannot produce enough specialised short- to long-range surface-to-air missiles for continuous resupply of the Ukrainian People’s Armed Forces in the foreseeable future.
In May alone, the Ukrainian Air Defence asserted that they successfully shot down 215 Iranian drones and Russian missiles with a flat trajectory.
Whether it be anti-aircraft machine guns, self-propelled anti-aircraft cannons like the German Gepard, or relatively affordable surface-to-air missiles capable of destroying at least Iranian drones and missiles with a flat trajectory, the Ukrainian Air Defence is in dire need of relatively inexpensive launch systems carrying relatively cheap effectors.
But where can one obtain surface-to-air missiles when, as stated previously, the industry in the West is having difficulty producing them? The problem can be partially solved by modifying existing air-to-air missiles to meet the requirements of ground-based air defence systems. The American and Norwegian NASAMS system employs this strategy. It uses AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) and Sidewinder missiles. The British recently supplied AIM-132 ASRAAM (Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile) class “air-to-air” short-range missiles with an infrared guidance system for anti-aircraft use hosted on a self-propelled launcher based on the British military vehicle Supacat HMT (6×6). In the past, American MIM-72A/M48 Chaparrals were deployed here, and modified tracked vehicles like the M113 were used to carry Sidewinders.
It is possible to construct a multilayered and integrated air defence system by dividing tasks by the nature and extent of the threats. Less complicated forms of air defence can deal with threats that are straightforward and straightforward to intercept, such as helicopters, drones, or missiles with flat trajectories. Powerful systems such as the Patriot and the German IRIS-T SLM can cover more complex targets such as high-speed tactical supersonic aircraft and ballistic missiles.
One facet covers effectors like the PAC-3 CRI/MSE, AMRAAM, and ASRAAM, among others, while another facet concerns advanced command and control systems like C4ISTAR (Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance). These are necessary components for a multilayered air defence system that is efficient in terms of cost.
Quality C4ISTAR ensures superiority in the ability to rapidly and accurately gather the information required to conduct combat operations, enables competent real-time decision-making, and enables the efficient execution of tasks with minimal ammunition. Ideally, each target would be eliminated using a cost-effective method proportional to its threat level. This is determined not by the cost of the target but by the potential injury it can inflict. The Russian uses a similar system with their layered air defence.
Ukraine is rumoured to acquire components of the innovative American air defence command and control system IBCS (Integrated Air and Missile Defence Battle Command System), which can be used to construct and manage a similar multilayered and integrated air defence system. It is currently undetermined when, if, and to what extent Ukraine will receive IBCS.