Ukraine’s Soviet-era Buk air defense system has been adapted to fire American missiles.
The system was recently tested in the US and is presumably ready for deployment.
“There is an announcement from our Western partners (which we have already confirmed) that we have good results of Buk-M1 air defense missile systems combat use at a test range in the United States,” The New Voice of Ukraine quoted Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat as saying.
It has been “converted and adapted to American missiles, which can strengthen our air defenses,” he added.
Transition Away From Soviet Systems
Ukraine has a limited stock of the system’s interceptors, which are produced only in Russia, according to the outlet.
The country will eventually need to replace all its Soviet systems, including the Buk, S-300, and S-125, the outlet wrote, citing Ihnat.
The effort is in keeping with the Pentagon’s FrankenSAM program, which includes fabricating air defense systems for Ukraine from an array of donated parts.
Under the program, a Buk system was modified to launch the RIM-7 shipborne short-range anti-aircraft missile, which has a range of about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers).
Another surface-to-air system cobbled together under the program could launch the AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
Another aspect of the program is to revamp obsolete systems such as the Hawk.
“We need to look for steps, ways, such as crossbreeding the Soviet and American. They [protect], albeit at a short radius,” Ihnat added.