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Exclusive: US Finalizes Plans to Send Patriot Missile Defense System to Ukraine


The Biden administration is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, according to officials.

Inside a hospital in Ukraine's battle line 3:27

(CNN) --

The Joe Biden administration has finished detailing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, which could be announced as soon as this week, according to two US officials and a senior administration official.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin still needs to approve the Pentagon's plan before President Joe Biden gets his signature.

The three officials told CNN the plan is expected to pass.

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Ukraine has asked the US to send in the advanced long-range air defense system, highly effective at intercepting cruise and ballistic missiles, while coming under relentless Russian missile and drone attacks that have destroyed vital infrastructure across the globe. country.

This would be the most effective long-range defensive weapons system ever sent to Ukraine, and officials say it will help protect the airspace of NATO nations in eastern Europe.

It's unclear how many Patriot systems will ship.

However, a typical Patriot battery includes radar that detects and tracks targets, computers, power generation equipment, a combat control station, and up to eight missile launchers, each with four missiles ready to fire.

Once the plans are finalized, the Patriots are expected to be shipped quickly in the coming days and the Ukrainians are expected to receive training in their use at a US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, according to authorities.

Ukraine has been requesting the system for months, but the logistical difficulties in delivering it and putting it into operation are immense.

Despite those obstacles, "the reality of what is happening on the ground" led the US government to make the decision, the senior administration official told CNN, noting the continued heavy missile barrages russians.


Unlike smaller air defense systems, Patriot missile batteries require much larger crews, requiring dozens of people to operate properly.

Training for Patriot missile batteries typically lasts several months, a process the United States will now carry out under pressure from near-daily airstrikes from Russia.

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The system is widely considered one of the long-range weapons most capable of defending airspace against incoming cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as some aircraft.

Due to its long range and high-altitude capability, it can shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft far from its intended targets inside Ukraine.

Previously, the United States had sent Patriot batteries to NATO allies such as Poland to bolster their defenses, and had sent other weapons systems to Ukraine to help against the Russian invasion.

In recent years, the United States has sent Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia and Iraq to counter threats from Iran and its allies, and to the Pacific region to deter North Korea.

In all, more than a dozen US allies, including Germany, Japan and Israel, have purchased the system.

In recent months, the United States has sent Ukraine advanced domestic medium-range defensive surface-to-air missile systems.

CNN has contacted the National Security Council for comment.

CNN had previously reported that the Biden administration was considering this possibility.

Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN that the United States is "very focused" on providing air defense systems to Ukraine.

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"Now we are very focused on air defense systems and not just us, many other countries," Blinken told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"And we're working to make sure that the Ukrainians get those systems as quickly as possible, but also as effectively as possible, making sure they're trained on them, making sure they have the ability to maintain them and all of that has to come together and is coming together." We have a very deliberate process set up by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Ramstein, Germany, that meets regularly to make sure the Ukrainians are getting what they need, when they need it."

-- Oren Liebermann, Haley Britzky, Natasha Bertrand and Ben Kirby contributed reporting.

Missile Defense War in Ukraine

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-13

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