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Ukraine conflict: Western countries pledge more air-defence equipment

The UK is providing Ukraine with the Terrahawk Paladin VSHORAD system to counter UASs. (MSI-DS/RMMV)

Air-defence equipment was among the kit Western countries pledged to supply Kyiv in the lead-up to and during the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting held at NATO headquarters in Brussels on 11 October. It was the first UDCG meeting attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke of his country's need for additional ground-based air-defence capabilities, as well as artillery platforms and munitions, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who chaired the meeting, told a press conference afterwards. Austin described the meeting as “instrumental in making sure ... that Zelensky can protect his cities and also protect his troops”.

He said Germany will donate another Patriot air-defence system with additional Patriot missiles and two more IRIS-T air-defence systems, Spain will continue training Ukrainian personnel on the Hawk and donate additional equipment for the air-defence system, and Bulgaria will donate components for the S-300 air-defence system.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps announced that Ukraine would be provided with the MSI-Defence Systems (MSI-DS) Terrahawk Paladin very-short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) system that can destroy unmanned aerial vehicles and protect critical national infrastructure. The system combines a skid-based deployable stabilised Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30 mm gun mounting originally used for naval applications with an MSI-DS Surveillance Acquisition Targeting Optical System (SATOS) electro-optical fire-control system, and a 3D active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for target detection. The system has been demonstrated against Type 1 and Type 2 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) threats with a five-round burst of air burst munitions at a range of 1.5–2 km.

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