The Ukrainian Air Force has warned that if Russia acquires Iranian ballistic missiles for use in its war in Ukraine, it will have no way to defend against them.
Russia is still ready to acquire UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and Fateh and Solbakr missiles from Iran. They are ballistic missiles. We have no way to defeat them,” Air Force Command spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on Ukrainian television on Monday.
As of November, Western officials who closely monitor Iran’s arsenal said Iran was preparing to send about 1,000 weapons, including short-range surface-to-surface missiles and several attack drones, to use in its war against Ukraine. At that time, the show was on CNN.
Reuters reported in October, citing two Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats, that Tehran had promised to deliver those weapons to Russia. “The Russians asked for more drones and Iranian ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, especially the Fateh and Solfaqar family of missiles,” one of the Iranian diplomats, briefed on the trip, told Reuters.
The Iranian government admitted to sending a small number of drones to Russia in the months before the invasion of Ukraine began in November, but has denied supplying military equipment for use in the war in Ukraine.
“Russia has Kinzel-type missiles that hit on a ballistic trajectory,” Ihnat said on Monday. “They have Kh-22 missiles, which hit on a ballistic trajectory, and they have S-300 and S-400 rockets, which hit on a ballistic trajectory. Those are the challenges and threats we face at the moment.”
“To defeat ballistic threats,” Ihnat said, Ukraine needs air defense systems such as the latest generation American Patriot PAC-3 and the French-made SAMP/T (Sol-Air Moyenne Portée/Terrestre).
The US has not announced details of the Patriot air defense system it plans to deliver to Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers were set to begin training on the Patriot missile system earlier this month.
Earlier reporting by Kylie Atwood, Ellie Kaufman, Oren Lieberman and Haley Britsky in Washington and Celine Alcaldi in Abu Dhabi.