February 6, 2023

Hardwood Paroxysm

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The United States is still putting pressure on Rome and Paris. Charge your Mamba anti-missile system.

Humanitarian and military aid to Kyiv is beyond doubt, in the Western Chancelleries. But Moscow’s escalation of attacks, both in the Donbass and in other Ukrainian regions where civilians are still forced into air-raid shelters by the rain of missiles, has also prompted the United States to strike at European allies, not just Zelensky. It seems to be the duty of the White House to materialize the yellow and blue forces with more modern means. This time on the table is the surface-to-air air defense system known as Mamba. It’s an Italian Trans-Alpine production, and it appears to be the only one that falls within the definition of “effective shield,” which Kyiv ordered last fall for city defense. So far, however, Mamba has stayed put, despite the pressure.

The Samp/T, as it’s called, is also capable of intercepting aircraft and drones; So Zelensky considers it vital. as well as from the Pentagon, which revealed at the same time as calling the European allies the contents of the new $3 billion package that the United States will send to Kyiv; Including, for the first time, 18 Paladin self-propelled howitzers with 105-mm cartridges and 50 Bradley tanks, suitable for combat in the Donbass. Designed instead to protect trenches and sensitive positions, the Samp/T is valid against all air threats. But they are not in warehouses, like most of the tanks and weapons that Europe shipped to Ukraine. 5 batteries of the 4th regiment of anti-aircraft artillery were supplied from Mantua, as well as one for training. It is a matter of evaluating whether Italy can do without one of these, which in addition to being very expensive must be replaced so as not to give the impression of being denied national security. Then there is the fact that this endowment is the result of a joint venture between Rome and Paris. The carriage must be agreed upon with France, which in turn is elusive; Why should the entire system be airlifted by NATO tactical aircraft, such as the Airbus A400M Grizzly and Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Secrecy will fall on the arms that Italy sends to Kyiv, and our country will be more vulnerable (together with Paris) to Moscow’s threats.

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More money from the Pentagon in Kyiv, armored vehicles and missiles in Kyiv: 500 tow anti-tank guns and 250,000 ammunition. But not sophisticated systems like the Samp/T. And if the range guarantees an umbrella of protection for a big city, it won’t be alone; The other hypothesis is to replenish the old Spada 2000 with Aspide missiles, which are less effective, which mount instead of the Aster 30 with vertical launch capable of intercepting aircraft within 100 km and missiles within 25 km.

Rome falls into the category of the “new level” of military assistance to be dealt with, especially after the phone call from US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Prime Minister Meloni’s diplomatic advisor, Francesco Tallo. However, the sixth aid package is on standby. And it will continue at least until January 20, when Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group (the “Ramstein formula” with 50 countries) will discuss actual yellow-blue needs and potential new contributions. Himmar’s American forces remain in the field (but weakened so as not to strike Russia). Germany, France and Great Britain promised to send more tanks: German Marders, French Amx-10s and British Warriors, which in two months would fortify mobile brigades in view of the Russian spring offensive; On a grand scale, according to No. 007. And not just for letting in NATO tanks, NATO’s eastern front will receive $682 million from Washington. But to rearm.