(FiveNation.com)- It was reported last week that the United States is finalizing plans to send Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine with the final decision being announced as soon as this week.
Ukraine asked the West for additional air defenses, including the Patriot systems, to protect itself from Russia’s heavy missile bombardment targeting its energy infrastructure.
Considered one of the most advanced US air defense systems, the Patriot, made by Raytheon, is usually in short supply with allies around the world vying for it.
Two US officials who spoke to Reuters last week said an announcement on sending the Patriot system was pending the approval of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and President Biden.
While Ukraine has offered no comment on the plan, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office confirmed that Kyiv held high-level talks with Washington last Tuesday.
One of the officials told Reuters that if the plan moves forward, Ukrainian forces would likely be trained in Germany before the Patriot systems were sent.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently warned NATO against providing Ukraine with the Patriot system, suggesting that Moscow would view the move as an escalation.
According to the Pentagon, Russia’s recent surge in missile strikes on Ukraine is partially designed to exhaust Kyiv’s supply of air defenses to it can dominate the airspace above the country.
Given that, the US and its allies have begun sending more air defenses to Ukraine, providing everything from Soviet-era missile systems to more modern, Western defense systems, including the US-made NASAMS air defense systems which the Pentagon says have flawlessly intercepted Russian missiles over Ukraine.
In October, Joint Chiefs chairman Mark Milley publicly raised the possibility of NATO allies sending Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine.
The Patriot system can be used against more advanced threats including cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and aircraft. It typically includes launchers along with radar and other support vehicles.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US has provided $19.3 billion in military assistance.