Fox News has confirmed that Ukrainians will be trained by the U.S. on the Patriot Missile System in Oklahoma starting next week.
The Patriot Missile
American Defense News reported last month about the history and current capabilities of the Patriot Missile System. Since 1980, the United States has deployed a surface-to-air missile. The U.S. Army has declared that it has 16 Patriot battalions. Thpre MIM-104 Patriot is the primary missile used by the U.S. Army. It is manufactured by Raytheon. Patriot stands for “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept Target.” The targets that the Patriot missile targets are aircraft, cruise missiles and SRBM’s. LRBM’s are not yet identified targets for the Patriot missile. Ukraine faces a range of Russian threats, and the Patriot is good against some and not that useful against others. One former senior military official with knowledge of the Patriot system said it will be effective against short-range ballistic missiles and it represents a strong message of U.S. support, but one battery isn’t going to change the course of the war. Patriots are often deployed as a battalion, which includes four batteries. This won’t be the case with Ukraine, which officials said would be receiving one battery. The Patriot has a more powerful radar that is better at discriminating targets than the Soviet-era S-300 system the Ukrainians have been using, but it has limitations.
The Patriot Missile and Zelensky
Last month, the Biden Administration sent $2 billion in military aid for Ukraine – and the Patriot Missile. Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed Congress at the same time that Biden will be announced that the Patriot Missile will be sent to Ukraine.
Fox News reports that Congress has already approved $65 billion in aid for Ukraine, but lawmakers are now debating an additional $45 billion. Lawmakers are negotiating over a $1.7 trillion budget bill that, if passed as is, includes $45 billion for Ukraine. The legislation appears to have widespread support among Democrats and many Republicans.
The training is expected to take several months though it will still be an expedited process in comparison to how long it normally takes, Fox News was told. One Patriot Missile battery requires 90 soldiers to operate it. Three soldiers are needed to fire the missile. All of this training will take place at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Last week, Germany also said that it would supply a Patriot Missile system to Ukraine signaling more support from the West.