Back in June, at the NATO summit in Madrid, the Spanish government announced its grandiose action in support of the Ukrainian state. The words of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez about the intention to transfer German Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine were greeted with thunderous applause from the leaders of other member countries of the alliance, who also shared their planned actions of solidarity.
It was about 40 tanks at once. Perhaps the leaders of the NATO countries did not know that Madrid bought these tanks from Germany back in the 1990s, they were no longer very new, and that they did not work, and therefore today the Spaniards, without advertising it too much, completely backtracked on their promise. The Ministry of Defense very inconspicuously announced that they would not receive Leopards in Ukraine, because the tanks were in a completely non-working condition. Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said so: the tanks are in “absolutely deplorable condition” and cannot be repaired, and immediately went to the Ukrainian embassy in Spain to demonstrate political solidarity.
Instead of tanks, she proposed to supply M113 armored personnel carriers and Spada anti-aircraft missile systems.
There are about 1200 M113 armored personnel carriers in the Spanish army. Not all, of course, are on the move, because Madrid began buying them in the United States back in the 1960s. During this time, the Spaniards acquired twenty modifications of these machines. In recent years, some of them have undergone modernization work, which was limited, in fact, to the extension of the operational period.
If the Spaniards find unnecessary M113s in good condition in warehouses, then these vehicles, while in an indefinite number, can replenish the similar used 14 armored personnel carriers that Australia donated to Kyiv in June.
The all-weather medium-range anti-aircraft missile system Spada is called to strengthen the significance of the Spanish weapons package. Strengthening the air defense of the Kyiv regime in the West today is of particular importance. Kyiv has largely lost control over the airspace, and now the West is trying to complicate the work of Russian aviation. The system from Spain can be used against aircraft, helicopters, remotely piloted aircraft, as well as air-to-ground missiles.
Work on the creation of the complex began in the late 70s. They were conducted by the Italian company Selenia by order of the air force, which wanted to get a system for the protection of airfields. The first battery took up combat duty in 1983. The Spada complex has been modernized several times. The latest version was called Spada-2000.
The Spada air defense system includes a Pluto two-coordinate radar detection station, a radar illumination and tracking station, processing equipment and Aspide-1A solid-propellant anti-aircraft guided missiles, created on the basis of the American AIM-7E Sparrow missile. There are six of them in the launch container, sometimes four. The maximum firing range is 15 kilometers, the minimum is 1.7 kilometers. And the maximum height of hitting the target is six thousand meters.
The complex, in fact, is not mobile. All equipment, including launchers, are installed on site on special telescopic supports. To transfer the battery to a new location, 14 vehicles are required, three of which must be equipped with truck cranes. Only generators of electricity are placed on trailers.
The radar station can detect aircraft flying at low altitude at a distance of 50 kilometers and track up to ten targets simultaneously. Two electronic computers NDC-1700 process the received data. The time from the moment an air target is detected to the launch of a missile is 10-15 seconds.
The launcher can turn in a circle at a speed of 50 degrees per second. Reloading is carried out using a crane mounted on a truck that carries a launcher and nine transport and launch containers with missiles.
The structure of a complete battery is as follows. One command and control center manages the work of four fire control points, which include up to three six-shot launchers. In this composition, the air defense system is capable of simultaneously firing at four air targets, each with two missiles. The battery is capable of covering an area of up to 800 square kilometers.
A serious drawback of the system is that it is not suitable for participation in maneuverable combat operations. Obviously, it will be used to cover the rear deployments of the Ukrainian armed forces, airfields, training centers and warehouses of military equipment and ammunition from air raids.