The fact that the preparation for sending MIM-104 Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine is reaching the final stage is reported by CNN and Washington Post, citing US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Apparently, the plan has not yet been signed by President Joe Biden and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, but an official announcement is expected in the near future.
According to the same sources, training of the Ukrainian military will take place at the base of the US army in Grafenwöhr, Germany. Such clarification is an important detail that indicates the existence of real plans, and not just empty talk.
The training period looks a little frightening, which, according to Defense Express, is about 9 months. But the Ukrainian military has already repeatedly demonstrated that they can master sophisticated Western weapons much faster than the deadlines set by Western experts.
“This will be the most sophisticated military equipment that Ukraine has received to date,” said Mark F. Cancian, a retired US military officer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies whose wartime research focuses on arms supplies. “If the Ukrainians had a year or two to integrate the Patriot, it wouldn’t be a problem… I guess the Pentagon is very nervous about this.”
The MIM-104 Patriot is indeed one of the most sophisticated and advanced air defense systems in the world and one of the few capable of shooting down ballistic missiles. The cost of the MIM-104 Patriot battery is $1 billion, and each missile costs from $1 to $6 million, depending on the modification. Patriots aare in short supply even in NATO countries, and the only really significant stock of such systems is only in the United States, which has 1,106 Patriot launchers in its arsenal.
We will remind you that Germany recently offered Poland MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to protect the eastern border, in turn Poland offered to transfer these air defense systems immediately to Ukraine, where they will be more useful. After a week of hesitation, Germany still decided to deploy these air defense systems on the eastern border of Poland. Well, let’s hope that the USA will have the courage to transfer the MIM-104 Patriot to Ukraine. We have been waiting for them for a long time.
Technical specifications of different versions of MIM-104 Patriot
Weight – 914 kg (PAC-1/PAC-2), 312 kg (PAC-3), 373 kg (PAC-3 MSE)
Length – 5310 mm (PAC-1/PAC-2), 5200 mm (PAC-3), 4826 mm (PAC-3 MSE), 4600 mm (PAAC-4)
Diameter – 410 mm (PAC-1/PAC-2), 255 mm (PAC-3), 300 mm (PAC-3 MSE)
Wingspan – 850 mm (PAC-1/PAC-2), 510 mm (PAC-3), 920 mm (PAC-3 MSE)
Warhead weight – 90 kg
Fuel – solid rocket engine
Operational range – 90 km (PAC-1), 160 km (PAC-2), 30 km (PAC-3), 60 km (PAC-3 MSE)
Target height – 24,200 m
Maximum speed – Mach 2.8 (PAC-1), Mach 4.1 (PAC-2/PAC-3)
Platform – mobile semi-trailer with 4 or 16 launch containers