US approves deployment of additional Patriot missile system to Ukraine

  12 June 2024    Read: 829
US approves deployment of additional Patriot missile system to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of an additional Patriot missile system to Kyiv amid the ongoing Russian-Ukraine conflict, AzVision.az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

The decision was made last week after high-level meetings and internal debates about how to balance Ukraine's needs without jeopardizing US combat readiness, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed officials.

The newly approved Patriot system will come from Poland, where it has been used to protect American troops preparing to return to the US, officials told the daily.

They added that the system is expected to be operational in Ukraine in the coming days, pending any necessary maintenance.

Patriot systems, known for their advanced radar and mobile launchers, are among the most effective air defense weapons available. However, they are also scarce.

The Pentagon is tight-lipped about the exact number of Patriot missile systems it possesses. However, a senior military official revealed that only 14 systems are currently deployed worldwide.

Some American allies have also sent Patriots to Ukraine, but US officials are encountering more European countries to do the same, with Germany and the Netherlands already deploying systems.

According to the daily, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed last month the urgent need for more Patriots to defend key regions such as Kharkiv and Odesa, particularly in light of Russia's ongoing missile and drone attacks on critical infrastructure.

These strikes have severely impacted Ukraine’s energy grid, causing nationwide blackouts.

Last week, NATO's military committee chairman, Adm. Rob Bauer, emphasized the importance of nations risking their own defense capabilities to assist Ukraine.

Officials told the daily that while there was some discussion at the highest levels about giving Ukraine another Patriot system, General Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed which Patriot to send.

The officials added that they decided on a battery from Poland, benefiting from its proximity to Ukraine.

According to the newspaper, this is expected to be a major topic of discussion at upcoming NATO and allied defense meetings in Belgium, where additional strategies to support Ukraine will be discussed.

The Patriot system is the most expensive weapon the US has provided to Ukraine, costing approximately $1.1 billion, which includes $400 million for the system and $690 million for the missiles.

 

AzVision.az


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