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Second SAMP/T Battery for Ukraine

Italian Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, confirmed press reports regarding plans to deliver a second battery of the medium-range air and missile defense system SAMP/T Mamba to Ukraine.

On Monday, June 3, 2024, Italian Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, during an interview with the website of the public broadcaster Rai – Radiotelevisione Italiana, confirmed the press reports regarding plans to deliver a second battery of the medium-range air and missile defense system SAMP/T Mamba to Ukraine.

SAMP/T Mamba / Photo: MBDA

“We will certainly review the information from COPASIR*, as the list of weapons we are sending remains confidential,” said the Italian Minister. “But we know that we will send the SAMP-T, which is an air defense instrument and therefore a protective measure that Ukraine itself has requested from us, it is no secret. We are working on this, as we have told them, we will not send soldiers to Ukraine, and Italian weaponry cannot be used on Russian territory.”

*COPASIR (Comitato parlamentare per la sicurezza della Repubblica) is the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic, which oversees the government’s activities in the field of security and defense in Italy.

The SAMP/T Mamba system will be part of Italy’s 9th arms package for Ukraine, but the delivery schedule has not been disclosed. According to the newspaper Corriere della Sera, the package could be approved after the G7 summit, which Italy will host from June 13-15 this year. In April, during a meeting organized by Italy on Capri, the G7 foreign ministers committed to providing Ukraine with greater support in air defense, emphasizing the importance of such systems in saving lives and protecting critical infrastructure.

The first SAMP/T Mamba battery for Ukraine was delivered jointly by Italy and France. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on October 30, 2022, about the preliminary agreement between the two countries regarding the possibility of transferring the system. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed for these systems due to the massive missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s power grid initiated by Russia in the fall of 2022, at the beginning of the heating season. On November 15, 2022, the then Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov, announced that the decision was being implemented, which was also reiterated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on December 12, 2022.

Thus, on February 3, 2023, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu, in agreement with Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, announced that a SAMP/T battery would be sent to Ukraine within 7-8 weeks, meaning in the spring. On February 5, 2023, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, expressed his gratitude on Telegram for the decision and informed that selected soldiers were on their way for training on how to operate these systems.

On June 19, 2023, during a speech on the first day of the Paris Air Show, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the delivery of the promised system components, specifically the launchers.

The details of the combat use of the first SAMP/T Mamba battery by the Ukrainian Armed Forces remain unknown.

SAMP/T Mamba

The SAMP/T Mamba system (Sol-Air Moyenne Portée/Terrestre) is equipped with medium-range guided surface-to-air missiles Aster-30 (in various configurations) and a fire control system based on the multifunctional Arabel radar operating in the X-band.

It can engage both conventional aerial targets such as airplanes, helicopters, and cruise missiles, as well as short-range ballistic missiles. The system’s software allows for tracking 16 aerodynamic targets and engaging 10 simultaneously. The control and command system includes the MAGICS (Modular Architecture for Graphics and Image Console Systems) and MARA (Modular Architecture for Real-time Applications) subsystems. The range for engaging aerodynamic targets is 120 km.


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