US Wants More Ukrainian Air Defenses to Counter Russian Fleet.
According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Russian Air Force still has substantial aircraft in its inventory in case Moscow decides to get involved in a spring offensive in Ukraine. Therefore, the U.S. and its allies must continue to provide air defenses.
Austin claims that although U.S. intelligence doesn’t see Russia planning a major air attack, it will still require more systems like Raytheon Patriots or European-built IRIS–T and SAMP–T defense missiles to protect Ukraine’s skies from such attacks.
We know Russia has many aircraft in its arsenal and plenty of capabilities. Austin says that this is why we have stressed that we must do all we can to give Ukraine the best air defense capabilities.
Officials expect a spring offensive to end the stalemate in Ukraine’s east. There has been a war of attrition with heavy casualties in areas such as the Donbass. Gen. Mark Milley is the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Milley describes Russia’s forces as “not great in leadership and morale, and they’re struggling tremendously.” They do have numbers.”
There is speculation that Russia might move its air force closer towards the battle. Because of Ukraine’s strong air defenses, Russian aircraft have been restricted to the country’s airspace since the beginning of the invasion.
Austin states, “We want them to be able to defend themselves going forward in the event that Russia attempts to insert its air force into that fight.” “They haven’t done so yet because Ukraine’s air defenses are pretty effective.”
The Defense Intelligence Agency published a new report on February 14 detailing the extent to which Russian-made uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) have been used to attack Ukrainian targets.
Russia has used several Iranian-made drones including the Shahed136 and -131 UAS one-way attack UAS and the Mohajer-6 multirole UAS. These systems were downed by the Ukrainian air defenses, but they have still been able target critical infrastructure.