A barter is possible to replace the Soviet S-300 with the American Patriot air defense systems. Barter is possible in the Balkans and depends on the US. The country that is ready to supply S-300 to Ukraine from the inventory of its anti-aircraft missile forces in Greece. This is clear from a statement by the Greek Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikos Panaiotopoulos.
Ukraine needs anti-aircraft missile systems much more now to counter Russian air attacks. Russia is attacking critical energy infrastructures and other infrastructures in Ukraine. However, Kyiv is currently unable to successfully counter these attacks. Although Ukraine received the German IRIS-T air defense system, as well as the Norwegian-American NASAMS, the quantities delivered were small. Last but not least, they are located near Kyiv to ensure the security of the city.
BulgarianMilitary.com already wrote that Ukraine has a shortage of ammunition serving the S-300 air defense systems. He currently has nowhere to buy rockets for them, so he relies on such barter deals to provide some quantity, which again is not enough. The manufacturer of the missiles is Russia, and logically, Ukraine has no way of getting ammunition from there. The US and allies of Ukraine are looking for various suppliers, mostly from the former socialist countries. In general, however, the stock quantities of missiles for the S-300 complexes are very limited. Last but not least, there are countries whose air defenses are entirely built and dependent on the S-300. If they decide to donate missiles, it means that the chance of buying the same amount from Russia tends to be zero.
However, Greece has one squadron made up of two battalions, including four systems and a total of eight batteries. Greece has deployed the S-300 on the island of Crete to defend against a possible Turkish attack. Athens has already expressed readiness and agreed with Washington that the S-300 should be donated to Ukraine. But Greece has one condition – that the S-300 be replaced by the American Patriot system.
In this way, the Greek S-300 will be freed, and Crete will once again be protected, with the Patriot system deployed on the island. “If the United States deploys the Patriot system on the island, after its integration into the national air defense system, the S-300 can be phased out,” Mr. Panagiotitopoulos said.
The Greek S-300PMU-1 is a 1993 upgraded version of the S-300PMU. The Greek air defense system uses the 48N6 missile also presented in the same year. This missile has TVM guidance and ABM capability, as well as improved speed and operational range.
Greece could give more
Greece has another weapon of Soviet design. These are the mobile air defense systems TOR-M1 and OSA-AKM. They can also become the object of a kind of barter. According to Russian media, Ukrainian President Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly shown interest and has stated a position that Greece should provide them to Ukraine. Even if it comes to their delivery, there is a possibility that Ukraine will not accept the second of the two listed – OSA. This is a rather outdated Soviet system and its effectiveness would be negligible.
Despite Mr. Zelensky’s statements that Ukraine is “closing its chest on Russian aggression against Europe,” no one wants to give anything away for free. For example, the Greeks have German BMP-1s and want to remove them from their inventory. But Athens is adamant – either they receive from Berlin their Marder equivalent, or they remain in service as part of the Greek army. In general terms, it is clear from the statements of Greek politicians that Athens does not want the temporary deployment of foreign weapons systems, or those for rent, but prefers their acquisition.
Source: Bulgarian Military