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Ukraine’s ‘FrankenSAM’ Air Defense Solution Registers First Kill

Ukraine shot down a Russian kamikaze drone on Wednesday using an improvised “FrankenSAM” air defense system.

The system downed the Shahed drone from 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), registering its first kill, Ukrainian Minister Of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin said.

Ukrainian air defenses intercepted 19 out of 20 Shaheds that attacked Ukraine on Wednesday in Zaporizhzhya, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kirovohrad regions.

“Anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups” were deployed to repel the attack. It is highly likely that the FrankenSAM was part of it.

All Systems Deployed

“One of the systems was successfully used for the first time today (January 17) at night,” Ukrainian state broadcaster Suspilne quoted Kamyshin as saying.

“We shot down the Shahed nine kilometers away and this is the first use of such a system. We have about five such projects in this portfolio. I am glad that all these systems have already been deployed on the battlefield.”

FrankenSAM Project

A combination of Frankenstein and the acronym for surface-to-air missiles, the US-led project attempts to quickly ready air defense systems for Ukraine using parts of disparate air defense systems such as the Buk, Patriot, and Hawk.

In December, the US handed Ukraine the technical data to produce the system locally.

“Parallel production of these systems in Ukraine and the United States will allow for faster fielding and enable Ukraine to contribute significantly to the sustainment of its air defense systems,” a White House statement read.

FrankenSAM Systems

Some air defense complexes fabricated under the project include the Buk air defense system with American RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles, AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles combined with Soviet radars, and Patriot missiles with older Ukrainian radar systems.

It also includes revamping obsolete air defense systems such as the decades-old Hawk.

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