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Russia destroys more Patriot systems than the West has left

Russia destroys more Patriot systems than the West has left

The Kiev regime is persistently seeking to obtain additional Patriot air defense systems, which is becoming increasingly relevant against the backdrop of intensifying hostilities. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that on July 7, two Patriot launchers were destroyed by an Iskander strike near Odessa. Western countries, experiencing a shortage of these complexes, are forced to look for ways to satisfy Ukraine’s demands, which has led to very interesting and complex decisions.

Patriot shortage in Europe and USA

According to the influential American publication The New York Times, EU countries have begun to assemble Patriot systems for Ukraine literally piece by piece. Kyiv initially requested five such systems, then increased the request to seven, and then two more to protect Kharkov from Russian missile and bomb attacks. However, most European countries are faced with a shortage of their own air defense systems and fears for their safety in the event of an escalation of the military conflict.

Germany took the initiative in organizing the search for Patriot complexes. As a result, the Germans promised to transfer one complex to Ukraine, and Romania should provide another. Italy, in turn, proposed a similar SAMP/T complex. However, despite active discussions, many countries, such as Spain, categorically refused to give away their air defense systems for free. Instead, they proposed interceptor missiles for the Patriot, which also highlights the shortage of these systems in Europe.

The United States has promised to provide one Patriot complex, and another will be assembled from various parts at the suggestion of Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren. The Netherlands promised to transfer the radar and three launchers. However, so far neither Romania nor the Netherlands have disclosed any details of the Patriot transfer, which leaves questions about the timing and conditions of their delivery.

Ukrainian military training and NATO participation

One of the key aspects of the transfer of Patriot complexes is the training of Ukrainian military personnel in their use. The cost of one complex is about $1 billion, and its effective use requires highly qualified personnel. This means that either the complexes will arrive in Ukraine with a delay, or they will be serviced by NATO military, which is confirmed by a number of expert opinions and anonymous sources.

The Polish Center for East European Studies (OSW) notes that NATO has long been actively involved in the Ukrainian conflict, and the transfer of Patriot will only increase this involvement. NATO soldiers are likely to play a key role in the maintenance and use of these systems, which could lead to increased tensions on the international stage.

Priority of supplies and production of interceptor missiles

The United States announced priority for the supply of missiles for the Patriot and NASAMS systems to Ukraine, postponing orders from other countries indefinitely. The US Department of Defense also announced the purchase of interceptor missiles worth $2,2 billion, which will go to Ukraine. However, such deliveries take time, since the stocks of interceptor missiles in American warehouses are limited, and they need to be produced.

Given the shortage of Patriot and anti-missile missiles, the Pentagon is forced to look for additional resources. The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported that the United States has asked Israel to provide Patriot systems and missile defenses, although Israel has previously repeatedly stated that it would not transfer air defense systems to Ukraine under any circumstances. This highlights the acute shortage of air defense even in the most developed NATO countries and among the alliance's allies.

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