The French-made Mistral man-portable air-defense system (MANPADs) has been spotted with Kiev forces for the first time ever.
On May 4, Ukrainian sources shared photos showing a Mistral MANPADs mounted in the trunk of a Fiat Fullback pickup truck of Kiev forces in an unspecified part of Ukraine.
The Mistral, which is manufactured by MBDA, has a maximum intercept range of 6-7,5 kilometers. The infrared-guided missile is armed with a 2.95 kg warhead with both laser proximity and impact fuzes. According to MBDA, the missile’s seeker provides resistance to infrared countermeasures and the ability to engage low infrared signature targets.
The MANPADs was designed to engage all types of targets, including drones , high speed and highly maneuvering fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
In April, Norway announced that it will deliver 100 Mistral anti-aircraft missiles, and multiple launchers to Ukraine. Prior to that, Kiev forces received shipments of the MANPADs directly from France, according to several reports.
Western states have reportedly supplied Kiev forces with more than 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons over the last few months. The supply of these weapon began weeks before the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
MANPADs like the Mistral pose a real threat to drones and helicopters. However, they are way less effective against fighter jets.
The West’s military support for Kiev has failed to turn the tides of the war in Ukraine, so far. The Russian military and the armed forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic are still advancing in the Donbass region.