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Patriot missile systems to be deployed in Ukraine sooner than planned

Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 17:43

Patriot missile defence systems are set to be deployed to Ukraine faster than planned originally.

Source: European Pravda; CNN, citing US Department of Defense officials

Details: The officials have said that a group of 65 Ukrainian soldiers will complete their training on these systems in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in the coming days.


After that, the soldiers will travel to Europe for additional training on two Patriot systems, one of them American and the other one Dutch-German, which will be deployed in Ukraine in the coming weeks, defence officials told reporters at Fort Sill.

The US instructors at Fort Sill, where 65 Ukrainians have been training since 15 January, were able to significantly accelerate the course schedule due to the Ukrainians' basic knowledge of air defence systems, the officials said.

"Our assessment is that the Ukrainian soldiers are impressive and absolutely a quick study," said Brigade General Shane Morgan, the Fort Sill commander. 

"Due to their extensive air defence knowledge and experience in a combat zone, it was easier— though never easy—for them to grasp the Patriot System Operations and Maintenance concepts."

The US military had allocated ten weeks for the training, but the Ukrainians completed it in about eight weeks. The training schedule was "aggressive," a Fort Sill official said, with the Ukrainians training daily from 07:00 to 18:00 local time.

Background: The news of the accelerated Patriot systems deployment was announced on the same day that it was announced that the US would accelerate the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by sending older models of the M1A1, the main US battle tank, instead of a more modern version of the tank.

The transfer of the first Patriot system to Ukraine was announced by Washington on 21 December as part of another military aid package. After that, Germany also promised to provide Ukraine with a Patriot system.

The Netherlands will also supply Ukraine with Patriot air defence systems and a number of missiles for them.

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