NASAM’s air defense system was used by Ukraine to shoot down a Russian drone. Photo/Ukrayinska Pravda
This was revealed in a New York Times (NYT) report which added that the price difference was creating problems for Kiev and its Western backers.
In its article on Tuesday, the paper did not question Kiev’s claim that most of Russia’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been shot down.
The NYT points out, however, that even then Ukraine’s air defense stockpiles have been depleted.
“How long can Ukraine maintain its efforts when many of its defensive actions are much more expensive than drones?” wrote the NYT wondering.
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“Besides trying to destroy incoming drones with anti-aircraft guns and small arms, Kiev forces also rely heavily on fighter jets and ground-launched missiles that are very expensive,” the NYT wrote.
The newspaper quoted the head of Ukrainian consultancy Molfar Artem Starosiek as saying that the use of missiles against UAVs costs up to seven times more than the drones themselves.
“Russia’s used drones are priced at around $20,000 per unit, while surface-to-air missiles from Ukraine’s arsenal range from $140,000 for the Soviet-era S-300 to $500,000 for the US-supplied NASAM system.” Starosiek said.
The article claims that the drone used by Russia in Ukraine was the Shahed-136, supplied by Iran. This claim has been denied by Moscow and Tehran on numerous occasions.