Facebook Pixel

Why the Patriot cannot be destroyed with the Kinzhal and how air defense systems can be protected

It takes more than one Kinzhal to destroy the Patriot, but filming the operation of air defense is a bad idea

It takes more than one Kinzhal to destroy the Patriot, but filming the operation of air defense is a bad idea

The Patriot air defense system, despite being reportedly damaged by a Kinzhal missile, as confirmed by numerous sources, is operational and can counter further enemy missile attacks.

Two U.S. officials confirmed to The New York Times that a Patriot system had been damaged in the attack but remained operational against all threats.

It is unlikely Ukraine will need to ship the Patriot system abroad for repair, sources told The Washington Post.

U.S. officials also confirmed to Reuters, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that a part of the system had been damaged. However, according to them, the system wasn’t destroyed. The U.S. and Ukraine are now discussing the best option to repair it, but it will likely be done in Kyiv. More details will be available in the coming days.

Pavlo Lakiichuk, Head of the Security Programs of the Center for Global Studies "Strategy XXI", explained to The Page whether it’s easy to destroy or at least damage the Patriot surface-to-air missile system and how it is protected.

Why the Patriot cannot be destroyed with one Kinzhal

First, it’s impossible to destroy a whole surface-to-air missile system with a single Kinzhal strike. A long-range surface-to-air missile system is not a tank, and not even the Strela-10 vehicle-mounted SAM system. It’s a battery of launchers and their control stations.

Speaking of the Patriot system, it includes six to eight M901 launching stations, each carrying four missile canisters.

Launchers can be deployed tens of kilometers apart.

QuoteThe most vulnerable part of the Patriot is the radar station. But the Kinzhal cannot get it.

Second, the AN/MPQ-53 radar set is also an important element. And yet another component, the AN/MSQ-104 Engagement Control Station, is typically located nearby, as are other auxiliary vehicles.

Therefore, the Patriot cannot be "damaged", as Russian propagandists claim. You can damage one of the elements, but it won’t be critical for the whole system.

Can the Patriot be quickly repaired?

If, theoretically, one of the launching stations was damaged, it wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s worse if the enemy damages the radar station. This is a key high-tech element.

The most vulnerable part is the phased array antenna, or, roughly speaking, the antenna of the radar station.

However, it can also be repaired quite quickly since it’s a modular structure. In addition, the radar is vulnerable to anti-radiation missiles that home in on a radio emission source, like the AGM-88 HARM or the Russian Kh-58. The Kinzhal doesn’t have such capabilities.

How the Patriot is protected and why air defense systems shouldn’t be filmed

The Patriot, similar to other long-range air-to-surface missile systems, operates not as a standalone system but in coordination with surface-to-air missile systems and air defense artillery. However, such powerful protection shouldn’t be considered a panacea.

Although hitting such an air defense system as the Patriot is hard, it remains a tidbit for the enemy, who will make every effort to damage and destroy it.

QuoteYou better not film the operation of the Patriot system.

Thus, despite the self-protection systems and special features of the SAM system itself, operational and tactical concealment of deployment areas is important.

This means that you shouldn’t film the operation of air defense systems because it creates additional risks, if not for the whole Patriot system at once, then for its individual parts, which would take time to repair. Which, in turn, would compromise the security of those who filmed the night air strikes, as well as others around them.

Join us on social networks!
Thank 🎉