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Pentagon poised to ship Patriot missile battery to Ukraine

A PAC-3 missile is fired from a Patriot launcher. (Lockheed Martin)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) and White House are finalising plans to deploy a Patriot air-defence battery to Ukraine, with final administration approval of the move expected in the coming weeks, according to published news reports

The plan, once approved, would be to deploy a single, truck-mounted Patriot battery armed with four launchers capable of carrying up to eight Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor missiles, the reports added. CNN first disclosed the details of the plan on 13 December. The air-defence system and associated missiles will be taken from existing DoD weapon stocks and deployed to a transit country, before being delivered to Ukrainian forces, the reports said.

A DoD spokesperson had not responded to queries from Janes on 13 December,regarding details of the proposed deployment of the Patriot missile battery and potential associated US-led training operations.

Pentagon officials refused to confirm reports of proposed Patriot deployments, which would represent a significant escalation by the US in its armed support of Ukraine. The former Soviet satellite state has been involved in a conflict with Russian forces, who launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“We do maintain a robust dialogue with our Ukrainian partners [and] with our allies, and our international partners on Ukraine's security assistance needs, to include battlefield capabilities they may need,” including air-defence capabilities, Pentagon Press Secretary US Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters on 13 December.

“We will continue to have those discussions and look at capabilities to defend their territory,” he added.

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