On May 9, Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler, the head of the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), reportedly said that the United States has not yet delivered the Iron Dome air defense systems to Ukraine.
However, he mentioned that one of the systems is available for shipment if Ukraine requests it. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Karbler stated, “The Army has one battery available to deploy upon request.”
Karbler mentioned that the ground forces have two Iron Dome batteries available, but one of them is currently undergoing the installation of new equipment. The other battery, however, is ready for potential transfer.
But during the hearing, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb said he did not have information regarding whether such systems had been offered to Ukraine.
Iron Dome relies on radar-guided interceptors to eliminate hostile projectiles in the air. Israel heavily relies on this system to protect its civilian population from rockets launched by militant groups in the Gaza Strip, and it has demonstrated remarkable success.
During a three-day escalation in August 2022, the system effectively intercepted over 97 percent of the 470 rockets fired by Islamic Jihad forces in Gaza, as reported by the Israeli military.
Although Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system has proven highly effective in intercepting rockets with a success rate of 90 percent, experts suggest that Ukraine is unlikely to receive access to the system due to Israel’s strategic relationship with Russia in conflict zones like Syria.
Meanwhile, the UK has handed over Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine, CNN reported, citing Western officials.
The UK has delivered several Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine, providing Ukrainian forces with new long-range strike capability ahead of a much-awaited counter-offensive. CNN added, London received assurances from Kyiv that these missiles would be used only against targets “in the sovereign territory of Ukraine.”
According to a senior US official, the Storm Shadow is “a real game-changer” and gives the Armed Forces the capabilities that Ukraine has been asking for since the beginning of the conflict.
Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow is extremely unhappy about London’s decision to transfer those missiles. “This will require an adequate response from our military, who, of course, from a military point of view, will make appropriate decisions,” the Kremlin spokesman emphasized.