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SAMP/T Air Defense System For Ukraine: Why It Is the Best Option That Europe Can Deliver, Its Specifications And How It Works

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The Aster 30 launch from the SAMP/T / Illustrative photo from open sources
The Aster 30 launch from the SAMP/T / Illustrative photo from open sources

In addition to the target destruction range of up to 100 km SAMP/T also can intercept ballistic missiles

The SAMP/T air defense system, which (according to unofficial reports) Italy and France plan to hand over to Ukraine is undoubtedly the best option that is in the arsenal of these countries.

In favor of the fact that it is SAMP/T that can become a candidate for transfer to Ukraine, several extremely important factors speak for it. Firstly, the two potential donor countries have 60 units of these complexes overall, of which France has 40, and Italy 20 units. That is, the transfer of even a small quantity of such air defense systems will not be a critical blow to the defense capability of countries that are located in the depth of NATO's "combat formation".

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Secondly, SAMP/T is a completely digital complex and requires only 14 people on a fire unit with four launch points. For Patriot, the quantitative personnel calculation for a standard fire unit, according to open sources, is 90 people. That is, the question of mastering the SAMP/T may be faster than Patriot, and the general digitalization and automation of the European air defense system may make it much easier to operate (but may not be as easy in terms of its service).

And finally, the SAMP/T by the Eurosam is actively offered for export, but excepts its direct customers (France and Italy), it did not receive any new customers. And its battle use in Ukraine can become an extremely important point called "proven combat effectiveness", which works much better than just videos and brochures.

At the same time, even a small amount of the SAMP/T can qualitatively strengthen Ukraine's air defense. The fact is that the declared interception range of Aster 30 aerodynamic targets is up to 100km.

Defense Express notes that the Aster 30 is a MICA air-to-air missile adapted for ground launch with added first cruise stage and maneuvering engines, allowing it to actively maneuver with overloads of up to 60 g.

The SAMP/T is a multi-channel system, one unit can fire at up to 16 targets at the same time. And the guidance itself is carried out according to the following principle: radio command on the march area and active radar homing head of the missile itself on the terminal area.

Taking into account their range of action against aerodynamic high-altitude targets, it is extremely approximate and solely for the purpose of illustration, because in real combat it is much more difficult to show the following:

SAMP/T Air Defense System For Ukraine: Why It Is the Best Option That Europe Can Deliver, Its Specifications And How It Works, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Missilemap / Picture credit: Alex Wellerstein

That is, even nine units of the SAMP/T, which have an important feature of deploying launchers at a range of up to 10km from the command post, allow Ukraine to be well covered.

But it is necessary to understand that the range of up to 100 km is exactly "up to", that is, the maximum instrumental range for destroying targets in ideal conditions. In the case of a low-altitude, inconspicuous target, this range will be much shorter.

But the most important thing is that the SAMP/T is claimed to be capable of intercepting ballistic targets. Of course, at a much shorter range than aerodynamic targets, but still this range is up to 30-35km. Taking into account the fact that the russian federation is about to receive Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from Iran in November, according to the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (HUR MOU), SAMP/T is very necessary for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The SAMP/T specifications

Aircraft destruction range: up to 100km

Range of destruction of ballistic missiles: up to 30-35km

Target destruction height: up to 25km

Weight of the warhead of the anti-aircraft missile: 15-20kg

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