Ukraine Deploys Additional NASAMS Air-Defense Systems
Russia Escalates Attacks, Threatens Energy Infrastructure
President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced the deployment of more Western-supplied NASAMS air-defense systems as Ukraine prepares for an expected increase in Russian air strikes targeting its energy infrastructure during the cold season.
"Additional NASAMS systems from partners were put on combat duty," Zelensky wrote on Telegram.
"Timely reinforcement of our air defense before winter," he added, without specifying the number of extra NASAMS deployed.
Ukraine's energy infrastructure was regularly targeted last winter by Russian missile and drone strikes that caused victims and damage as well as misery to millions of people who were left in the dark and cold amid freezing temperatures.
In response to the escalating threat, U.S. officials last week announced that Washington is expected to deliver $425 million in new military aid to Ukraine, including some $125 million earmarked for ammunition for High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and NASAMS as well as other types of armaments.
NASAMS, or National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, are a highly mobile networked short-to-medium range air-defense system developed jointly by the United States and Norway. They were first delivered to Ukraine in November last year and have proven highly effective in intercepting Russian missiles, boasting a 100 percent success rate, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
However, despite the deployment of NASAMS systems, Ukraine's air defenses are warning that more Russian strikes using ballistic missiles are likely on November 7.
"There is a threat of using ballistic missiles in areas where an air raid alarm has been declared. Do not ignore air raid alarms. Head to the nearest shelter," the military said in a statement in the early afternoon on November 7.
The tension between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, with earlier reports of a Ukrainian drone attack on the Moscow-occupied Crimea region, according to Russia's Defense Ministry.
As Ukraine braces itself for another potentially harsh winter, the deployment of additional NASAMS air-defense systems provides a crucial layer of protection for the country's energy infrastructure. With the memory of last winter's devastating missile and drone strikes fresh in their minds, Ukrainian authorities are taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their citizens.
In addition to the military aid from the United States, Ukraine remains in close coordination with its Western partners to counter the threat posed by Russian aggression. The deployment of NASAMS systems demonstrates the ongoing commitment to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities and deter further attacks.
As the cold season approaches, all eyes are on Ukraine and Russia, as the potential for escalated conflict looms. The international community continues to monitor the situation closely, hoping for a peaceful resolution and the preservation of Ukraine's sovereignty and security.