The United States mainstream media has claimed that a Pentagon plan to arm Kyiv with Patriot systems is being finalized. If the US MIM-104 Patriot missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia would certainly target them.
According to a report by RT, Peskov’s remarks came in response to a question about how Russia would react to the possible delivery of the US-made systems, which Kyiv currently does not have. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chair of the National Security Council, stated in late November that such weapons and their crews would be legitimate targets if a NATO member were to deliver them.
If delivered, each missile battery would require “dozens of well-trained Air Defenders to operate,” retired US Army General Mark Hertling remarked on Twitter. Preparing crews would require months, so “unless there’s been secret training going on for months, ‘approval’ doesn’t mean those systems will be on the battlefield immediately.”
According to a report by CNN, the logistics are still not cemented. It is not clear how many missile launchers will be sent but a typical Patriot battery includes a radar set that detects and tracks targets, computers, power-generating equipment, an engagement control station, and up to eight launchers, each holding four ready-to-fire missiles.
Once the plans are finalized, the Patriots are expected to ship quickly in the coming days and Ukrainians will be trained to use them at a US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, officials said.
Ukraine has been asking for the system for months but the logistical challenges of delivering it and operating it are immense. Despite those obstacles, “the reality of what is going on the ground” led the administration to make the decision, the senior administration official told CNN, noting the continuing intense Russian missile barrages. CNN
Either way, the U.S., Ukraine, and Russia all seem intent on keeping the violent conflict raging for as long as possible.