US considers sending another patriot missile battery to Ukraine

The Biden administration is working to send an additional Patriot air-defense battery to Ukraine, people familiar with the matter said, as the US and its allies scramble to meet the country’s demand for more air defenses to repel an intensified Russian assault.
The US is seeking to send a single battery along with radars, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.Ukraine’s European allies are also working on plans to send Kyiv additional air-defense systems from their stocks, the people said.
This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is visiting Kyiv, that his country needed two Patriot systems just for Kharkiv, the location of a new Russian offensive.
Spokespeople for the White House National Security Council and Pentagon didn’t immediately comment.
The Zelenskiy government has appealed to several allies for more of the $1 billion Patriot batteries and other air-defense systems. The US announced in 2022 it was sending one Patriot battery and has kept up a steady supply of missiles to supply what’s believed to be two other systems in the country as well. Germany committed last month to send another Patriot system.
The Patriot is costly to make and maintain, and most of the dozens of systems in use are already spoken for. That’s provoked growing frustration from Ukrainian officials, who have argued that European allies especially ought to be able to spare some of the systems.
“I feel myself hitting the wall with my own head, although I’m a diplomat, and that means I have to dismantle the wall brick by brick,” Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Washington Post in April. “But since this kind of diplomacy doesn’t work, I feel like hitting the wall. I just don’t understand why it’s not happening.”
A Patriot battery includes radars and control stations to identify, track and target enemy weapons, missile launchers and support vehicles. The system’s missiles are manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., while Raytheon Technologies Corp. makes the radar and ground-control elements of the system.
The funds for a new Patriot system would likely come out of the $61 billion assistance package recently approved by Congress.
“Patriots and other sophisticated air defenses – they do more than protect soldiers and save civilian lives,” Blinken said in a speech in Kyiv on Tuesday. “They create umbrellas of safety under which Ukrainian workers and entrepreneurs can adapt, innovate, build, and attract more foreign investment.”
“That’s why we’re working relentlessly with allies and partners to procure more air defense, and to do it fast,” he said.
The US has been nudging allies to send Patriots to Ukraine as “a matter of utmost priority,” Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Monday.
“And beyond Patriots, we’re looking for other systems, as well, because we believe that there are a number of allies who have capabilities they could share and ways in which the United States could help them with their air defense needs as a backfill,” Sullivan said.
Strengthening Ukraine’s air defenses has been a priority for the White House since Congress passed the national security package.


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