Following the system’s delivery announcement in February, Italy took several weeks to prepare it for deployment, as reported by Decode 39, a defense news outlet. While Italy has completed its part, the Ukrainian ambassador to Italy, Yaroslav Melnik, stated that they are now awaiting the finalization of the French contribution. Although an exact date for field operation has not been confirmed, it appears to be imminent.
The SAMP/T air defence system, manufactured by a consortium consisting of MBDA Italy, MBDA France, and Thales, offers protection against cruise and tactical ballistic missiles, as well as manned and unmanned military aircraft.
A notable component of the system is the Arabel multi-function radar, capable of simultaneously tracking up to 100 targets. Additionally, the system can launch eight missiles in rapid succession to intercept incoming threats. The integrated Aster 30 missile interceptor within the system possesses an impressive range of 120 kilometers (74 miles) and can reach altitudes of 20 kilometers (12 miles).
The deployment of the SAMP/T air defence system marks a significant enhancement to Ukraine’s defense capabilities, equipping them with advanced capabilities to counter a wide range of airborne threats.