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US receives advanced air defense radar from Ukraine

A deployed Tin Shield radar. (Photo via Australian military)

The US Army has received an advanced air defense radar system it bought from Ukraine, after a firm allegedly linked to Russia tried to block the sale.

The US Army Contracting Command center in Orlando, Florida received the 3D mobile radar system from the Ukrainian state company SFTC "Progress," according to the ImportGenius, an Arizona-based company which tracks import/export activity at various shipping docks.

The 36D6M1-1 radar, developed by Ukraine’s state-owned Scientific and Production Complex “Iskra,” is a designed to be used in modern automated air defense system and anti-aircraft missile systems.

The 3D radar’s main function is to detect low flying air targets under active and passive jamming. It can also be used to control military and civilian air traffic.

Defense Blog, the first website to report the story, wrote Monday that the US Army was going to analyze the system and probably use it to simulate opposition force (OPFOR) equipment in training.

Dubbed “Tin Shield” by NATO, the highly mobile radar system has been used in variants of the Russian air defense system S300.

Many countries including Iran, China and Russia are currently operating different iterations of the air defense system.

Defense Blog wrote that a company “associated with Russia” had tried to block Iskra from selling the system to the US, on the grounds that it had failed to pay royalties for using patented technologies.

Russia is known to have developed sophisticated radar technologies for its air defense systems, enabling them to detect and target aircraft and missiles of various types in lower and higher altitudes.

The US, on the other hand, has struggled to develop battle-tested system that can offer the same level of protection.

The vulnerability of American missile defense systems became apparent December last year, when Yemeni Scud-type missiles were able to bypass US-made Patriot missile shields and land in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

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