Forbes: destruction of Patriots will strengthen cracks in Ukraine’s air defence

Russian forces have successfully destroyed at least two Patriot SAM launchers in service with the Ukrainian army. This strike will undermine the already strained air defence of the Ukrainian armed forces, and the airspace in the region will become much safer for Moscow’s aircraft, Forbes writes.

On the previous day, Russian forces had a lucky break near Pokrovsk in eastern Ukraine. Using Iskander hypersonic missiles, they managed to hit an AFU convoy that included at least two Patriot SAM launchers. Both systems exploded, almost certainly resulting in the deaths of their “experienced crews,” Forbes writes.

The strike made the skies in the region “much safer” for Russian aviation. In addition, as a result of this “just one disaster,” the Ukrainian army lost up to 13 per cent of the Patriot launchers that the US, Germany and the Netherlands had provided it, the publication claims.

According to Forbes, the destruction of the US-made SAMs will undermine the AFU’s air defence, which is already “showing cracks”. Moreover, it would be very difficult to replace the lost systems.

Kiev or its allies could queue up to buy new Patriots, but this procedure will take months, if not years. In addition, a quick solution to the problem looks unlikely due to the reluctance of Republicans in the US Congress to approve military aid to Ukraine, Forbes notes.