Ukraine looks abroad for S-300s
The Ukrainian MoD has officially requested the delivery of S-300 air defence missiles and launchers from NATO member states or former Soviet republics.
Among the potential suppliers is Bulgaria, which operates two S-300PMU detachments with five launchers apiece. Bulgaria also has a large stockpile of S-300 missiles left over from the Cold War but Sofia may require a replacement SAM air defence capability before selling or donating S-300 equipment to Ukraine.
Greece has two S-300PMU batteries while Slovakia operates one S-300PMU1 battery, according to the IISS Military Balance 2022.
Non-NATO S-300 operators include Azerbaijan, which fields two S-300PMU2 battalions with eight launchers each. However, the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia may preclude Azerbaijan from donating launchers or missiles to Ukraine.
Ukraine already uses the S-300 so familiarisation and extra training would not be needed, but the US would have to help backfill an air defence capability for any donor country. CNN reported on 15 March that US lawmakers are lobbying President Joe Biden to help broker the transfer of S-300s with backfilling in mind.
On the eve of the Russian invasion on 24 February, Ukraine had S-300PT, S-300PS and S-300V air defence missiles and launchers in its military inventory. However, losses in the ongoing conflict (visually verified by open-source intelligence analysis from Oryx) by 16 March included one 5P85D missile launcher for the S-300PS and two 5P85S missile launchers for the S-300PS.
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