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Germany Strengthens Ukraine's Air Defense with Additional Patriot Missile System.

| 2023

On November 24, 2023, Martin Eger, the German Ambassador to Kyiv, declared Germany's commitment to bolster Ukraine's air defense by supplying an additional Patriot air defense missile system. This move aims to enhance the Ukrainian military's air defense capabilities.
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German army launcher truck of Patriot air defense missile system. (Picture source German MoD)

The German news agency DPA had earlier reported on October 5 that Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany had assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of the provision of an extra Patriot air defense system for Kyiv.

In the initial days of October, Germany's Defense Ministry revealed plans for a new aid package for Kyiv, valued at one billion euros, to be delivered before winter. This package is set to include more air defense systems, notably the Patriot, IRIS-T SLM, and IRIS-T SLS, along with three Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft systems. The exact timeline for the delivery and deployment of the new Patriot system in Ukraine, however, remains unspecified by Berlin. On November 21, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced the impending dispatch of four additional IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to Ukraine.

Previously, in April 2023, Germany had provided Ukraine with its first US-manufactured Patriot system. To date, Ukraine has received two Patriot launchers from the Netherlands and one Patriot battery from the United States.

The US Patriot air defense missile system, with its advanced capabilities, is designed to address a variety of airborne threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft, and cruise missiles. Its ability to simultaneously engage multiple threats makes it an integral part of modern air defense strategies.

One of the key features of the Patriot system is its high-altitude interception capability, allowing it to neutralize potential threats before they reach their intended targets. This is particularly crucial in defending against ballistic missiles, which often follow a high-arcing trajectory.

The system's advanced radar is central to its effectiveness. Capable of detecting and tracking a multitude of targets over extensive ranges, the radar significantly enhances the system's defensive coverage. It is adept at distinguishing between actual threats and non-threatening objects, thereby improving the accuracy and reliability of the system.

Regarding the specific ranges, the Patriot missile system's operational capabilities vary depending on the variant. Generally, the Patriot PAC-3 missile, one of the latest versions, has an interception range of approximately 20 to 30 kilometers (12 to 19 miles). However, the system's radar can detect and track targets at much greater distances. The AN/MPQ-53 radar system used in the Patriot system can track targets more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) away, providing ample warning time and allowing for strategic deployment of interceptors.

The mobility of the Patriot system is another significant advantage. It can be quickly deployed and repositioned, adapting to changing battlefield conditions and ensuring its effectiveness in various operational contexts. This mobility allows the system to protect specific high-value targets or provide broader area defense.

Defense News November 2023

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