Ukrainian Air Defense – Past and Present

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The air defense of Ukraine at the time of the start of the special operation was largely represented by obsolete Soviet systems. Their number was small: 250 S-300P units of various modifications and 72 Buk-M1 units.

Despite not having new equipment, with competent air defense actions of Ukraine, it could pose a big problem for the Russian Aerospace Forces, inflicting heavy losses on our aviation. In turn, Russia could completely open the sky for itself, having achieved the total elimination of Ukrainian air defense. In reality, neither side has achieved its goals.

What losses did Ukraine suffer during the 8 months of the conflict? It is reliably known that at least 200 S-300P and 30-40 Buk-M1 units were disabled. This is a lot, but not enough.

S-300P, as the country’s air defense, performs the task of protecting large cities from air attacks. Calibers, X-101, X-55, and Gerani are the main targets for the air defense system. Therefore, the Armed Forces of Ukraine create air defense bases around such cities as Kiev, Dnipro, Lvov, Kharkov, Nikolaev, and Odessa. The complexes are located in areas on the proposed flight routes of cruise missiles. The fight against them is complicated by the complete radio silence of the installations, as well as the periodic change in their location.

Buk-M1, as the air defense of the ground forces, is a cover for the ground forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Their main task is to create an “air defense umbrella” over the advancing columns so they cannot be defeated by Russian aircraft. Together with the widest range of other army air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Buks can protect ground forces very well. But in moments of calm at the front, they most likely help the S-300P in the defense of cities. Riding alone in complete radio silence, they are a hard-to-reach target for the Russian Aerospace Forces and can hit air targets at any moment.

Readovka has prepared a map with the possible location of Ukrainian air defense systems

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