The Netherlands, together with the United States and Germany, will deliver Patriot systems to Ukraine    Zone Militaire

The Netherlands, together with the United States and Germany, will deliver Patriot systems to Ukraine Zone Militaire

[The Netherlands together with the United States and Germany will

D’après une évaluation du renseignement britannique, le missile qui a détruit un immeuble et fait plus de tués 40 à Dnipro [est de l’Ukraine]on January 14, would be a Kh-22 “Bouria” [code Otan : AS-4 Kitchen]fired by a Russian Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bomber… and not by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, as Moscow has indicated.

The Kh-22 is an anti-ship missile that lacks accuracy when used against land targets, as its radar guidance system is unable to distinguish targets in urban areas. Also, in June 2022, a machine of this type crashed into the Kremenchuk shopping mall [au moins 18 tués, ndlr.

Cela étant, les forces ukrainiennes n’ont pas les capacités pour intercepter de tels missiles, conçu à l’époque de l’Union soviétique pour viser les porte-avions américains. Pour rappel, d’une masse approchant les six tonnes, le Kh-22 emporte une charge conventionnelle de 1000 kg et atteint une vitesse supérieure à Mach 4 au moment de toucher sa cible.

« Il est impossible d’abattre des missiles Kh-22 avec les moyens dont nous disposons dans notre arsenal », a ainsi déploré le colonel Yuri Ignat, le porte-parole de la force aérienne ukrainienne, le 16 janvier. « Même les systèmes de défense aérienne les plus modernes dont nous disposons – par exemple le S-300 qui fonctionne dans cette région – ne peuvent pas abattre le missile Kh-22 », a-t-il insisté. Et de préciser que sur les « 210 » engins de ce type tirés par les forces russes depuis le 24 février, aucun n’a pu être intercepté par la défense aérienne ukrainienne.

Aussi, pour le colonel Ignat, l’Ukraine a besoin de batteries de défense aérienne plus avancées, comme le Patriot américain et le SAMP/T [Sol-Air Moyenne Portée / Terrestre] French-Italian…Even though Ukraine has already received NASAMS and IRIS-T-SLM systems…not in insufficient numbers to ensure the protection of cities like Dnipro.

However, France and Italy Rome are intensively discussing the possibility of supplying a SAMP/T battery [encore appelé Mamba] in Kyiv… A priori, each of the two countries will provide different components to form a complete system. When will it be operational knowing that training their operators is tedious?

Of course, the question also arises for the two Patriot batteries promised by the USA and Germany. The Netherlands has announced its intention to join American and German efforts in this regard.

“We intend to go along with what you are doing with Germany on the Patriot project,” said Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, during a Jan. 17 White House interview with US President Joe Biden.

The Royal Netherlands Army has four Patriot systems, acquired in 1987 and recently upgraded to extend their service life through 2040. One was placed in reserve and another less was deployed in Slovakia with a German unit as part of NATO. Additionally, last July, the Netherlands was approved to purchase 96 Patriot MIM-104E GMT missiles for an amount estimated at the time at $1.19 billion.

A priori, Mr. Rutte would not consider delivering a battery to the Ukraine. “It’s not necessarily a whole system,” he later clarified. “It could also be devices that are part of the system,” he added, referring to help for “interoperability and training.”

A Patriot system consists of eight Tractor-Erector launchers [TEL] equipped with interceptor missiles, a fire control station, an AN/MPQ-53 radar, antennas for transmissions and anti-radar jamming, and a mobile generator to power it all.

While the Dutch leader did not speak of the delivery of a “whole system” and his defense minister, Kajsa Ollongren, indicated that the details of this contribution were yet to be specified, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not understand it that way. “Another Patriot battery will be delivered to Ukraine. Thanks Markus! ‘ he began during his daily speech. And to add that Kyiv would have “three guaranteed Patriot batteries”.

Photo: Dutch Ministry of Defence