Ukraine Receives Its First Patriot Missile Defense Systems
Kiev received the Patriot air defense system from the US and Germany, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov confirmed on Twitter. While Kiev will only receive a limited number of advanced interceptors, Reznikov said Ukraine had realized its “dream.”
“Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure because Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine.” He tweeted Wednesday, “Our air defenders have mastered them as fast as they could.” Reznikov went on to thank the US, Germany and the Netherlands for keeping their pledge to transfer Patriots to Ukraine.
Reznikov said the air defense systems fulfilled a dream that he was told was impossible. “Do you know how to visualize a dream?” He continued, “During my visit to the US in August 2021…I first told our partners, ‘We need the Patriots.’ Our country’s liberty and independence are under threat. And what did we hear? It’s impossible!”
Deutsche Welle, a German outlet, reports Ukraine will only receive one launcher from each the US and Germany. The Netherlands is sending missiles and spare parts.
Last month, the Pentagon claimed that 65 Ukrainian soldiers training in the US had become proficient on the platform ahead of schedule, allowing Washington to ship the missile defense system to Kiev earlier than expected.
A German defense official said that Germany and the US also provided training during a NATO exercise in an unnamed country.
Reznikov’s praise for the Patriots may be overhyped. The limited number of systems will only provide Ukraine with a small area of coverage from Russian attacks. While Patriot systems are capable of targeting planes, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, it is inefficient against drones. Patriot missiles cost $4 million each, and drones are cheap to produce.
Fri, 04/21/2023 – 05:00