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Can the possible US delivery of advanced air defence system to Ukraine be a game-changer?

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air defence system

The US has pledged to help Ukraine with the arms and ammunition required to contain the Russian invasion. The US has already committed more than 16 billion dollars of aid to Ukraine since last year but most of it is since the Russian invasion in February. A few months ago several videos made rounds on the internet showing how Ukrainian soldiers were downing Russian helicopters and Sukhoi 35s with a portable missile launcher. That launcher which is also referred as MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence System) the most famous of which is the Stinger which is made by US based Raytheon Missiles and defence is a type of air defence system. Recently the US also provided a more advanced NASAMS (Norwegian/National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System), jointly developed by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace (Norway) and Raytheon (US), to Ukraine further increasing the safety of the country against aerial attacks. It is being reported that out of 84 Russian cruise missiles fired more than 50 were neutralized in the air itself and were not let to reach the ground, this can be called a success for the help Ukraine is receiving from Her western friends.

In the wake of the recent missile shower on Ukraine, putting civilian lives and civilian buildings like Schools, Colleges Hospitals etc in danger killing 14 people, US President Joe Biden vowed to provide more advanced Air defence System to Ukraine, although the specifications of the system has not been released yet.

An upper hand for Ukraine?

US has a diverse arsenal when it comes to guarding the skies against aerial threats, apart from the Air force which is another trump card in the deck. The range varies from MANPADS(Stinger) to one of the most advanced systems in the world THAAD(Terminal High Altitude Air Defence). SHORAD(Short Range Air Defence)- against Low altitude aircraft and Helicopters. HIMAD(High to Medium Area defence) and THAAD(Terminal High Altitude Air Defence) this is the most advanced of all the air defence system currently in possession of the US, it creates a virtually impenetrable dome above a certain area, it’s the most expensive and sophisticated hence only used for strategically important places and big cities.

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Altgough the Biden led US government hasn’t specified which air defence is on the offer for Ukraine but even if they help Ukraine with THAAD then also it can’t be claimed that its impenetrable but it is for sure true that penetrating a THAAD protected territory will need a lot more and quick Missiles which makes it practically impossible for Russia to attack the desired targets. NASAMS which is already being used by the Ukrainian forces were delivered to her as an aid under Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, is used by countries like Norway, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland and the US.

Russia’s Response

Russian Economy is in the shambles and the constant help from west has put Ukraine in a far better position in the war as of now, Russia has started losing territory to Ukraine which she acquired during the initial phase of the war. Now the real concern of Russia is not about the American air defence, because the way Russia is losing the skirmishes in the areas it already won, has certainly put the Kremlin in the Tight Spot. the Russian missile attack on Civilian Infrastructures is being advertised by Ukraine as a desperate act due to the fear of losing war. In the current scenario it is difficult to say whether or not Russia would be able to save her face.

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