The complex systems will become a high-priority target for Russia, as the West ups the ante on supplies

Posted BY: Jasmine | NwoReport

This month, the Ukrainian military is set to start training to use the US-built Patriot missile system. Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, has said the process will take “several months.” This means that the technology may soon take a full part in combat operations between Moscow and Kyiv. But will the high-value equipment tip the balance of power on the battlefield?

A short wait 

Discussions around the supply of Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to Kyiv intensified after major strikes on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine by the Russian Armed Forces and subsequent blackouts. An incident in the Polish city of Przewodow, when a missile from a Ukrainian S-300 air defense system resulted in the death of two farmers, also played a part in the discussions. The chairman of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, suggested that Germany should send its Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine, not Poland.

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At the time, Berlin noted that it would prefer the missile defense systems to remain on NATO territory. Yet in less than two months, things changed. At the beginning of January, the United States and Germany agreed to send a Patriot anti-aircraft missile battery to Ukraine. The announcement was made in a joint statement by U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after their first phone conversation in 2023. The training will be conducted both Washington and Berlin. The transfer of the battery is scheduled for the first quarter of the year.

This will be Kiev’s second Patriot battery. As was announced at the end of December 2022, the first will be handed over to Ukraine by the US. It was included in the latest military aid package, totaling $1.8 billion. 

Experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies note that, so far, the Patriot has been the most expensive weapons system provided to Ukraine by the US. They estimate that the total cost of one Patriot system can reach a billion dollars: $400 million for the equipment and $690 million for the missiles.

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