The Pentagon stated on Tuesday that the US will teach Ukrainian personnel at a site in Oklahoma on how to operate and maintain the sophisticated Patriot air defense system that Washington is supplying to Kiev.
At the end of the previous year, Washington promised Ukraine a Patriot battery to help fend off Moscow’s persistent aerial assaults. This was a major triumph for Kyiv, which had pushed the United States for the system on numerous occasions.
“Training for Ukrainian forces on the Patriot air defense system will begin as soon as next week at Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder told journalists.
“The training will prepare approximately 90 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers to operate, maintain and sustain the defensive system over a training course expected to last several months,” Ryder said.
“Once fielded, the Patriot will… contribute to Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and provide another capability to Ukrainian people to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial assaults,” he added.
In defending Ukraine against attacks and preventing Moscow’s forces from seizing control of the sky, air defenses have been crucial.
However, as Russia suffered more reverses on the battlefield, it started deliberately attacking Ukraine’s vital infrastructure. These attacks have caused millions of Ukrainians to lose heat, water, and electricity.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system produced by Raytheon that was intended designed to target high-flying aircraft.
It was first employed in combat against Iraq’s Russian-made Scud missiles during the first Gulf War, and it was updated in the 1980s to concentrate on the new danger of tactical ballistic missiles.
Patriot has proven successful in Saudi Arabia against ballistic missiles of Iranian design launched from Yemen, and its main contractor Raytheon claims the system has successfully intercepted more than 150 ballistic missiles since 2015.
International backers of Ukraine want to see the country develop multi-layer air defenses, including low-, medium-, and high-altitude systems that can defend against a range of dangers.