The US explains why it cannot provide more Patriot aid to Ukraine

US officials state why the country will not send more Patriot defense complexes to Ukraine.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that America’s air defense capabilities are spread across the globe so they have no extra Patriot complexes left to send to Ukraine.

Mr. Sullivan said that the US will not put the country’s security situation at risk but will mobilize Western partners to share air defense capabilities with Ukraine.

Speaking at an online meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group on April 26, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the West to aid “at least 7” Patriot batteries. However, the US, Kyiv’s main sponsor, admitted that it no longer had spare Patriot systems to send.

“US Patriot systems are being deployed around the world, including in the Middle East, to protect US troops. If we can find more surplus Patriot batteries, we will send them out On the other hand, we are trying to provide interceptor missiles for the complexes,” the US official emphasized.

The Pentagon has pledged to add additional Patriot interceptors as part of a “historic” $6 billion support package announced on April 26.

However, the interceptors could take months or even years to reach Ukraine because the shipment is not in the Pentagon’s existing stockpile. Instead, the announcement “represents the beginning of a contracting process” with the US defense industry.

Manufactured by the American arms corporation Raytheon, a MIM-104 Patriot battery costs more than 1 billion USD. Each complex has about 8 launchers.

The US has produced more than 1,100 Patriot launchers over the years. To date, the US has only donated one Patriot complex to Ukraine.

“Soon, we will cooperate with European partners and partners in other parts of the world to ask them to provide additional air defense capabilities to Ukraine,” Mr. Sullivan emphasized.

In April last year, Ukraine received its first two Patriot systems from the US and Germany. In October of the same year, Germany pledged to provide another Patriot system to support Ukraine in dealing with an increase in Russian attacks during the winter months.

In April this year, Germany announced that it would provide Ukraine with another Patriot complex. Patriot is a multi-purpose long-range air defense missile system, with a range of 70-160km, capable of operating in all weather conditions.

Patriot is capable of intercepting a variety of targets from the air, including fighter aircraft, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. 

However, Ukraine said the number of Patriot complexes it has is not enough to protect important infrastructure. Ukraine admitted that it had considered the option of temporarily borrowing or leasing these complexes from European countries, but the plan has not been approved.  

In Europe, in addition to Germany, there are also the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Greece, and Romania that have Patriot complexes. Previously, Poland also said that it had no remaining air defense complexes to aid Ukraine.

Spain claims it can only supply “a small number” of Patriot interceptors, not the launchers. Greece also announced that it would not take actions that could jeopardize its deterrence or air defense capabilities.

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