Ukrainian soldiers train in Italy to operate the SAMP/T air defense missile system

According to information published on the Twitter account "A-129 Mangusta" on March 19, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers have been training on the SAMP/T air defense missile system in Italy since the beginning of March this year, specifically at Santa Barbara di Sabaudi, which houses the anti-air command of the Italian army. Once training is completed, the system will be delivered to Ukraine in collaboration with France.
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Italian Army - 4th Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment "Peschiera" SAMP/T missile reloading. (Picture source Italian army)

Aerial warfare in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, with infantry divisions and armored and air support in Eastern Ukraine, and dozens of missile attacks across Ukraine. Russia’s merciless attacks have deliberately and continuously targeted Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. In recent months, Russia has sought to weaponize winter, deliberately attacking Ukraine’s energy facilities and networks. According to figures published in February 2023, Russia will have fired 5,000 missiles at Ukraine and carried out almost 3,500 airstrikes.

For months Ukraine has been requesting European countries and the United States more air-defense missile systems such as the U.S.-made Patriot which is able to destroy a wide range of aerial threats including short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft, and cruise missiles.

On February 3, 2023, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that the Italian government that the SAMP/T air defense missile system jointly developed by Italy and France will be delivered to Ukraine within the next two months.

The SAMP/T (French acronym of Sol-Air Moyenne Portée Terrestre - Ground to Air for Land Medium Range) is a Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile system developed by the European consortium Eurosam. The system is designed to provide air defense against a wide range of aerial threats, including aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and cruise missiles. The primary target of SAMP/T is to provide protection to military forces, critical infrastructure, and populated areas against air attacks.

The SAMP/T is able to fire Aster 30 missiles, which are capable of intercepting aerial threats at ranges of up to 300 kilometers and altitudes of up to 30 kilometers. The air defense system uses a modernized version of the Arabel radar offering more performance and combat capabilities against higher speed targets and higher altitude targets. It can track up to 100 targets simultaneously and manage the uplink transmission of command update data to 16 missiles simultaneously.

Defense News March 2023