Pentagon officials are nearing the completion of a plan to deliver a Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine to fend itself against Russian aerial strikes, according to a report by CNN.
The Pentagon and the White House have not yet authorized the plan, but they may reveal their decision this week.
Once the plan is approved, the US would likely give Ukraine at least one Patriot missile battery, one of the officials told CBS News.
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Military aircrafts flow over Kiev central street during a military parade on August 24, 2018 to celebrate the Independence Day, 27 years since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union. – Around 4,500 servicemen, including dozens representatives of foreign allies like the United States and Great Britain, saluted Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a military parade
The Patriot System
The highly mobile Patriot system employs ground-based radar to identify and track airborne threats. The system was initially created to destroy aircraft, but improvements made over time have made it effective in intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles.
Depending on the kind of munition employed, each Patriot system battery can have up to eight launchers, each of which can house four to sixteen missiles, according to Interesting Engineering.
The Patriot system’s operational crew consists of just three members, but the US military deploys 90 troops for a battery, including maintenance personnel and communication specialists.
A Patriot missile may reach heights of up to 79,000 feet (24,000 m) and be launched at targets up to 100 miles away (160 km). The system is efficient at neutralizing both cruise and ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.
It is anticipated that the Ukrainians will require six to eight weeks of training in Europe before they can start using the system and a full 10 months before they are fully capable of doing so.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has pleaded with the US to send Patriot air defense systems while Russia continues to launch missile attacks throughout Ukraine, battering the country’s energy facilities.
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Air Defense Systems
As the war rages on, the US and its allies have started supplying Ukraine with Western air defense systems in place of the Soviet-made weapons that Ukraine was accustomed to employing.
The US has recently committed missiles for HAWK air defense systems as well as National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems.
Although the Ukrainian forces were successful in reducing Russia’s arsenal and weakening the power of its attacks, Moscow is now banking on Iran for assistance in its attacks, as per Interesting Engineering.
Russian attacks have already used Iranian drones, but recent reports indicate that Iran has agreed to send more drones to help them in the ongoing war.
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