Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Leaked photos reveal Ukraine’s FrankenSAM air defense system

Newly shared photos by Ukrainian soldiers show the FrankenSAM surface-to-air missile systems in Ukrainian service.

FrankenSAM refers to a U.S.-led initiative designed to enhance Ukraine’s air defense by integrating new interceptors and Western components with existing Soviet-era systems.

The effort behind FrankenSAM came into the spotlight in October 2023. These missile systems are adaptations of Soviet-era Buk (SA-11 Gadfly) medium-range surface-to-air missile launchers, modified to fire U.S.-made radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow and RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles, as well as U.S.-supplied heat-seeking AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.


The feasibility of using these missiles with Soviet systems was previously explored in Poland and the Czech Republic, where attempts were made to mount RIM-7 and RIM-162 ESSM missiles on Kub (SA-6 Guideline) surface-to-air missile systems. In November 2023, the Ukrainian Air Force Command confirmed the integration of the Buk-M1 system with the RIM-7.

Captures via Telegram

The FrankenSAM systems demonstrate a blend of old and new technology, aiming to enhance Ukraine’s defensive capabilities amid ongoing conflict. This innovative approach allows Ukraine to maximize the use of available resources while incorporating advanced Western technology to bolster its air defense network.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



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