Washington announces to supply Ukraine with Patriot air defense system | War in Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers on an armored personnel carrier on a road in the Donetsk region.
The United States will provide Ukraine with its most sophisticated air defense system, the Patriot, the head of the American diplomacy announced on Wednesday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prepared to land in Washington.
Today's aid tranche includes for the first time the Patriot air defense system, capable of shooting down cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and aircraft at a significantly higher altitude than defense systems that had been provided up to that point, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The Department of State State then clarified that Washington was only sending one of these highly mobile systems at the moment, at a time when Ukraine is strained by the intensification of strikes from Moscow.
The Patriot is part of a new tranche of US military aid to Ukraine of about $1.85 billion, including $1 billion in weapons donations to Kyiv drawn from US Army stocks – which can be delivered quickly – and 850 million orders from the defense industry, which implies lead times of months or even years.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has in recent weeks repeatedly asked Western capitals for modern air defense systems.
Russia has been increasing its bombardments on Ukrainian energy infrastructure since October. The Patriots, whose effectiveness has been widely demonstrated in recent years in Iraq and the Gulf, are armaments likely to play a useful role in countering these attacks.
The Patriot missile system has long been a beacon for the United States and its allies in contested regions of the world as a coveted shield against incoming missiles.
Washington will also send additional ammunition for Ukrainian artillery, including HIMARS rockets, armored vehicles, mortars and 155 mm precision missiles, the standard of NATO.
Armaments ordered from US industry include ammunition of various calibers, satellite communication terminals and funds for the training of Ukrainian troops.
This new installment brings total U.S. military assistance to Ukraine to $21.3 billion since the invasion of Ukraine. this country by Russia on February 24 and 21.9 billion since the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House in January 2021.
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