Latest News by Industry
Pentagon's 'FrankenSAM' program cobbles together air defense weapons for Ukraine
The Pentagon calls it FrankenSAM
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Pentagon calls it FrankenSAM — a project that cobbles together air defense weapons for Ukraine from an array of parts from around the world.
But now, as congressional gridlock delays funding for the war in Ukraine, the Frankenstein-like program for surface-to-air missiles has become more of a life saver and a reliable way to get working weapons to the battlefield now. The rapid delivery of the systems comes as Ukraine tries to ward off Russian airstrikes and make as many gains as possible before troops are slowed down by weather.
A senior U.S. defense official said Thursday that the U.S. has been able to improvise and build a new missile launcher from radars and other parts contributed by allies and partners. The system will be able to launch AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, which the U.S. announced Wednesday it will send to Ukraine in the latest aid package.
At the same time, U.S. engineers have been able to work with Ukraine to modify a Soviet-era Buk air defense launcher so that it can fire RIM-7 missiles, which the U.S. has in large quantities. Ukraine has a number of the Buk systems, but its supply of missiles had been dwindling.