Patriot missiles

Ukraine said last week that its “dream” came true after the arrival of the first shipment of Patriot missile systems from NATO that are intended to provide the country with a new level of air defense. 

Oleksiy Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister, gushed that the “beautiful Ukrainian sky” is now more secure after the arrival of these systems. He indicated that these advanced systems will be used right away because the country’s air defenders “have mastered them as fast as they could.”

These systems can help Ukraine defend itself from more advanced Russian missiles and ballistic missiles provided by Iran. There has been some debate about the wisdom of providing Ukraine with the Raytheon-made equipment that requires up to 90 troops just to maintain.

The U.S. Army said these systems are highly mobile and “designed to engage and intercept any aerial threats whether it be aircraft or tactical ballistic missiles under any weather conditions and in the natural or induced environment.”

Raytheon Missiles & Defense said it has built more than 240 Patriot fire units and delivered them to customers in 17 nations. (It is worth noting that Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defense secretary, worked as a board member at Raytheon before taking the Pentagon’s top job.)

Analysts told the Associated Press that the system costs about $4 million per missile, and the launchers themselves cost about $10 million each.

Yurii Ihnat, the Ukrainian air force spokesman, called the shipment a landmark event and said it will allow Ukraine to hit targets at a farther distance. 

Ukraine did not indicate how many of these systems it received but thanked the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands for coming through on their promises in October. Both Washington and Berlin agreed to provide Kyiv with one of the systems. Military analysts have questioned if the systems will have any impact on the war because of the small amount.

The AP noted that Germany also provided Ukraine with its “second of four medium-range IRIS-T air defense systems that it pledged last year.”

TRENDPOST: Reznikov told reporters that he considered these systems a dream because Washington rejected his request back in 2021 for the Patriot. He said he was told that the request would be “impossible” to grant. 

The West has gotten bolder in its support of Ukraine. The U.S. once considered these systems escalatory and could result in a response from Russia. Both the U.S. and Germany rejected Ukraine’s request for these systems for months. Germany even got into a public feud with Poland over its decision to withhold the Patriot from Ukraine. (See “U.S. AT WAR WITH RUSSIA: MOSCOW WARNS WASHINGTON AGAINST SENDING PATRIOT MISSILES” 20 Dec 2022, “UKRAINE TO LOSE WAR: U.S. TRIES TO SAVE FACE AFTER CLASSIFIED DOC LEAK” 18 Apr 2023, and “GERMANY: NO PEACE PERMITTED, AGAIN AT WAR WITH RUSSIA” 7 Mar 2023.)

Judge Andrew Napolitano and Gerald Celente talked about the debate surrounding the possibility of providing Ukraine with these weapons and both agreed the move would put the U.S. on the brink of war with Russia.

“These are the most potent land-based weaponry we have. You don’t use them to shoot a missile coming into you,” Napolitano said. “You shoot them to cause massive destruction wherever they land. Not only are we sending these, we are sending them from our substance not our surplus. This is more sophisticated offensive weaponry than the Russians have. And it comes with this: you have the permission to reach deep into Russia. World War III has started….You’ve been saying this for months. If WWIII hasn’t started yet, it will once these weapons get there.”

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