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Polish President Duda Promises SAM Ammunition to Ukraine, Which Kinds are Still Available

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Kub air defense systems of the Polish Army / Photo credit: Wojsko Polskie
Kub air defense systems of the Polish Army / Photo credit: Wojsko Polskie

Having already supplied Ukraine with a lot of Soviet-era surface-to-air missiles and associated air defense systems, Poland still has some in store but the amount of aid it can provide is limited by the speed of replacements arriving in the country

Poland can help Ukraine with Soviet-type anti-aircraft missiles, President of Poland Andrzej Duda stated during a joint briefing with his Ukrainian and Lithuanian counterparts, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Gitanas Nausėda. At least, the Polish head of state promised to consider the possibility and discuss the transfer of ammunition to the USSR-era air defense systems with his Minister of Defense.

On a reminder from Defense Express, Warsaw has been providing air defense equipment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine since the very beginning of the russian full-scale invasion in 2022, starting with the Piorun MANPADS. As the war progressed and escalated, more complex systems of Polish origin like stationary ZU-23-2CP, or self-propelled ZSU-23-4 Shilka anti-air artillery systems, Osa-AKM-P1, S-125 Newa SC missile systems were spotted on the Ukrainian battlegrounds, there was also information that Kub missile systems were transferred, but it's only about the Czech ones that is known for sure.

Read more: Assessing Present and Future GEM-T Missile Production for Patriot Systems for Ukraine
S-125 Newa SC / Defense Express / Polish President Duda Promises SAM Ammunition to Ukraine, Which Kinds are Still Available
S-125 Newa SC / Photo credit: Wojsko Polskie

In addition to ground-based air defense systems, Poland also handed over some MiG-29 fighters. That is to note that Poland has already repeatedly made significant and timely contributions and helped the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the air defense domain and beyond.

Still, there is more to be sent if a decision is made: as of 2021, Poland had 17 S-125 Newa SC batteries in stock. These are not some old Soviet technologies but comprehensively modernized and digitalized systems. Each battery consists of an overhauled R-18 radar, SNR-125 missile guidance station, three W-125 launchers on tank chassis, transporter-loader vehicles and other support units.

On top of that, there were 20 Kub batteries, each consisting of four launchers and one detection and missile guidance vehicle. Another 64 Osa-family air defense vehicles were present, too, each one is a self-sufficient system with its own target detection and engagement equipment.

A certain amount of these have by now been transferred to Ukraine, so it's currently impossible to say how much is left in Poland without official data. However, the fact that the Polish Army still has these systems is evidenced by the contracts for their maintenance signed in early 2024. Then, Wojskowe Zakłady Ubezpieczenia company was commissioned to repair the Kub, Osa-P, and S-125 Newa SC systems for 84 million zlotys (about USD 21 million).

Osa-AKM-P1 / Defense Express / Polish President Duda Promises SAM Ammunition to Ukraine, Which Kinds are Still Available
Osa-AKM-P1 / Photo credit: Wojsko Polskie

At the same time, Warsaw is unlikely to have the opportunity to transfer additional missiles, let alone systems without deteriorating own capabilities, which is connected with the gradual replacement of Soviet-type air defense equipment with modern weapons under the Wisła and Narew programs. These initiatives provide for the purchase plan for 14 Patriot fire units, 23 units of the Sky Sabre system, and additional integration of British CAMM missiles with Poland's own Pilica systems.

The roadmap of these programs, developed in 2021, expected that all the S-125 and Kub air defense systems would be decommissioned by 2026.

Read more: Polish Artillerymen Learn to Spread Out Howitzers and Fire Like Ukrainians