Better than the US-made Patriot, Ukraine expects ‘the Mamba’

PARIS, ROME ($1=0.94 Euros) — Depletion of the arsenal is the prevailing theme in the war in Ukraine. It ends, not only for Ukrainians but also for Russians. Supplies are becoming increasingly difficult, and winter will therefore most likely minimize direct clashes between the warring parties. From the perspective of an observer, it is logical to assume the continuation of aerial missile attacks on key infrastructure sites in Ukraine.

Italy is considering donating a SAMP/T SAM system to Ukraine
Pkote credit: Twitter

The Ukrainian S-300s can no longer stand up as they did at the beginning of the war. Ammunition is running out, and the few remaining air defense systems are running out of missiles. Ukraine needs ammunition more than air defense systems.

Amid the news that Washington is considering deploying the Patriot air defense system, France and Italy are considering the possibility of supporting American intentions with the delivery of the European SAMP-T air defense system, known by its nickname “Mamba”. The system “bites” quickly and many times. It fires up to ten missiles in a time frame of a few seconds and can engage 10 targets simultaneously, as well as doing it all in a 360-degree spin mode.

More criteria some experts believe that SAMP-T is better than the American Patriot system. Especially after the Patriot failures in the Middle East and the inability to provide more than 50% interception of missiles and drones manufactured in Iran and supplied to the Yemeni Houthis.

Patriot destroyed missile using target designation provided by F-35
Photo by US Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Debbie Lockhart

The delivery of SAMP-T to Ukraine is not discussed for the first time. BulgarianMilitary.com reported a month and a half ago that Italy is ready to deliver the air defense system to Ukraine, but even then we said that this does not depend on Rome but on Paris. France is the leading country in its production.

However, it is now clear that both countries have accepted Ukraine’s proposal. In this way, France and Italy ensure that it will be discussed. Whether Ukraine will eventually get the “European mamba” will become clear soon.

If this happens, we return to the primary problem – the supply of ammunition. We already know that neither Italy nor France can continuously supply missiles for SAMP-T. I.e. ammo will be in limited supply. This means that the SAMP-T will not be deployed on the front lines to provide air cover for Ukrainian military columns, but most likely on the outskirts of Kyiv. SAMP-T could also be deployed in another key Ukrainian city or region where Kyiv would like to protect a critical energy or another type [e.g. military data center] facility from Russian incursions.

Managing the entire air defense complex is not easy, on the contrary – it is considered even more complicated than the Patriot. Thus, the next question arises – who will manage this system. Of course, some would immediately exclaim that Ukrainians will be trained. It is possible, but in that case, it will take months from training to delivery and deployment of the system. It is not known how necessary this system will be in the next period.

NATO troops may be sent to better operate the SAMP-T. Officially NATO is not in Ukraine, but unofficially, Britain has already acknowledged the involvement of Royal Marines in discreet operations.

Misunderstanding: Ukraine expects, but France will not send SAMP/T
Photo credit: Gagadget

The “European Mamba” is part of the unified NATO air defense system in Europe. However, France and Italy are not required to seek permission [officially] from any other NATO member country if they decide to launch SAMP-Ts in Ukraine. SAMP-T is intended both for the protection of troops and mechanized formations on the march and for covering strategically important stationary objects.

The devices can shoot down aircraft, UAVs, cruise and anti-radar missiles, including tactical ballistic missiles, at a distance of 15 to 35 kilometers in all weather conditions.

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