The United States announced that it would provide Ukraine with its Patriot defense missile system in Kyiv’s war against Moscow.
This announcement came ahead of a visit to Washington by Ukrainian President Zelensky.
The question is, what is America’s Patriot Air Defense System?
Since the military intervention by Russia in late February of this year, the war between Kyiv and Moscow has been going on for the past ten months.
During this time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has never traveled abroad.
President Zelensky’s visit to the United States this week, his first since the war began, was his first foreign trip.
President Zielinski arrived in Washington, where he met with President Joe Biden and addressed a session of the US Congress.
Before his arrival in Washington, the US government announced that Washington would provide an additional $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine.
Under this military aid, the Ukrainian army will also be provided with the American Patriot air defense missile system.
President Zelensky said that his country desperately needs this missile system because Ukraine is Russian. It can also successfully defend itself by intercepting air attacks.
What Is The Patriot Air Defense System?
Patriot Missile System is a defense system, which stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercepting on Target.
It is a surface-to-air missile system developed by Raytheon Technologies Corporation of America.
This system is considered the most advanced and effective air defense system available to the US Armed Forces.
The Patriot missile system was first used in the 1991 Gulf War when batteries of the system were used to defend Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel.
Later, the same missile system was used during the US military intervention in Iraq in 2003.
The missile system is a mobile system consisting of a powerful radar, a control station, a power generator, launching stations and various other support hardware.
According to the Western defense alliance NATO, this missile system can hit and destroy its target with precision up to 150 km or 93 miles.
How Much Does This System Cost?
A newly developed battery for the Patriot missile system costs more than a Billion US Dollars.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, this system costs about 400 Million US$.
In comparison, the full battery of such missiles costs about 690 Million US$.
Raytheon Technologies Corporation has so far developed 240 such systems. Which are in use in 18 countries, including the United States.
All these seventeen countries are US allies. Demand for these missiles is high in the Middle East region, where many states feel Iran threatens their security.
This missile system has destroyed more than 150 ballistic missiles in the air since 2015.
How Will The Patriot System Work For Ukraine?
The Ukrainian government says it needs the missiles to counter heavy airstrikes by Russian armed forces using drones and missiles.
Before the Patriot missile system, the US had also provided Ukraine with two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).
Being able to destroy enemy warplanes and ballistic missiles with Patriot missiles is understandable as a military priority.
However, destroying drones with these missiles can be considered unwise from a military point of view.
Because an armed military drone costs at most a few thousand dollars. But a battery for the Patriot system can be had for over a billion dollars.
According to experts, providing the US Patriot system to the armed forces of the Kyiv government in the Russian-Ukrainian war will not have much impact on the possible outcome of this war because it is primarily an air defense missile system.
Using it, however, in the case of large air strikes, the enemy’s missiles can be destroyed in the air, thus avoiding many casualties.
When Will The Patriot Missile System Arrive In Ukraine?
According to experts, it may take several months for Ukraine to install American Patriot missiles on its war fronts in the war against Russia.
According to US officials, this missile system will first be delivered to Germany, where Ukrainian troops will first be trained in their use, after which these missiles will reach Ukraine.
The training of Ukrainian forces can take months, as dozens of soldiers work together to operate each Patriot missile system.
The Ukrainian government will decide how and where these missiles will be installed in Ukraine.
Russia has already said that US Patriot missile systems installed in Ukraine would be a legitimate target for strikes under the guise of Russian armed forces.