MIM-104 Patriot systems deployed in Slovakia aren’t S-300 replacement
BRATISLAVA, ($1=0.91 Euros) — So far [March 24th], there is no official information from Slovakia or the United States that Bratislava will hand over its S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing official sources in Bratislava.
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The MIM-104 Patriot systems provided by the Netherlands and Germany, which are currently stationed in Slovakia, do not replace the Soviet S-300s available to Slovakia.
Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nay officially stated a few days ago that Slovakia could provide Ukraine with the old Russian S-300 air defense system. He added that the Patriot is not a substitute for the S-300, but is another element in the defense of the Slovak Republic’s airspace.
Retired General Pavel Matsko agrees with his words. “The Patriot system is a complement to what we have. In addition, our system has no protection against ballistic missiles or surface-to-air missiles. In short, we have no missile defense, only against aircraft. Therefore, Patriot is the right choice, because it also protects us from a possible accidental flight of a missile or ballistic missile,” he told tvnoviny.sk at the beginning.
Slovakia is considering, but there are three factors
According to him [Pavel Matsko], if Slovakia is considering handing over the S-300 to Ukraine, we must take into account three factors. “In the first place, we need to comply with the requirements of our own protection. We can move the S-300 only if we can find a replacement. It is not possible to consider a transfer without compensation,” he said. “In a few years, this almost 30-year-old system will” disappear. We are currently dependent on the Russians, who are currently unpredictable for support.”
As he explained, Slovakia could even benefit from the exchange. “If we start procuring a new system and at the same time we can transfer the S-300 to the Ukrainians, this could also be beneficial for us. They could agree with the allies to participate in it.”
The second factor is technological. “We can’t repair the S-300 system and we can’t reconfigure it, we just manage it. Only Russian technicians can do that. Ukraine has several such systems, albeit in different versions, but they could quickly retrain on this one,” he said.
According to Macko, the third factor must be taken into account, namely political and professional. “Nothing in international law prevents us from giving the S-300 system to Ukraine, as it is not covered by a ban as a chemical weapon. This is a commodity like any other. “If we give it to the Ukrainians, we would do exactly what other countries do,” he explained.
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