Ukraine announced it is sending service members to train on the Franco-Italian Samp-T air defense system after the countries announced its delivery.
Ukrainian Air Force Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram that personnel is “already on their way” to training.
“I sincerely thank the governments of France and Italy for the decision regarding the provision of SAMP/T-Mamba anti-aircraft systems to protect Ukraine from Russian missile terror and strengthen the country’s air defense system,” Oleshchuk said.
“We are looking forward to our specialists because in the spring they will return to Ukraine not empty-handed, but with knowledge, skills, and the very complexes of SAMP/T-Mamba.”
French defense minister Sebastien Lecornu announced Friday that the system would be delivered in the spring.
The joint decision came after lengthy political, cost, and supply deliberations in Italy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requested the system in December.
Avec @GuidoCrosetto, nous avons décidé de livrer à l’Ukraine au printemps 2023 un système de défense antiaérienne SAMP/T-MAMBA.
Ce système permettra de protéger les populations et infrastructures civiles face aux attaques russes, une urgence exprimée par @oleksiireznikov. pic.twitter.com/oVAjg6x19t
— Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) February 3, 2023
The Eurosam system delivery will be in addition to the Patriot air defense system promised by the US and Germany.
Eurosam is a consortium of MBDA France, MBDA Italy, and the French Thales Group.
Berlin has also promised four IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine, one of which was already delivered in October.
The Diehl system has a range of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), while the Patriot can intercept cruise and short-range ballistic missiles, along with manned and unmanned aircraft, in the 20-100 mile (32-161 kilometers) range.
The Samp-T offers a much greater range of 600 kilometers (373 miles), which increases to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) when used with the latest Aster 30 Block 1NT missile.