Report: Ukraine Asked US for Systems to Counter Russian Missiles

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 01:30 PM

By John Blosser

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A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought down Malaysian Air flight MH17, the Ukrainian government asked America to provide sophisticated electronic equipment that could jam the radar of such missiles.

The Daily Beast reported that Andrei Parubiy, the Ukrainian national security adviser, said Ukraine had requested the equipment, which could detect and defend against anti-aircraft systems, but the equipment has not been provided.

The news website reported that the U.S. government has serious concerns about providing advanced technology to Ukraine because officials believe that country's military is completely penetrated by Russian intelligence agents.

"These are highly sensitive systems. We don't trust Ukrainian military folks on this," said a U.S. defense official the Beast didn't identify.

The U.S. position that MH17 was shot down by a Russian BUK SA-11 missile was recently bolstered by analysis of wreckage from the airplane.

The New York Times reported that multiple shrapnel holes and blistered paint seen on the wreckage could be caused by such a missile, which, when the 46 pounds of explosive in its warhead explodes near an aircraft, blasts a large load of shrapnel which riddles, shreds and destroys the targeted aircraft.

"Most of the smaller holes look to be caused by a high-velocity projectile, as opposed to simple shearing or tearing caused by the forceful separation of the panel from the airframe," Reed Foster, an analyst at HIS Jane's, wrote in an assessment provided to the newspaper.

Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, "We know for certain that the separatists have a proficiency that they've gained by training from Russians as to how to use these sophisticated SA-11 systems."

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed to the Daily Beast that the Ukrainian government has requested "support" but declined to specify which types.

Even if the United States had agreed to provide the jamming systems, Philip Karber, former strategic advisor to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, noted that it likely would not have prevented the destruction of Flight MH17. "It would have taken time and training to get them up to speed on this," he told the Daily Beast.

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