US finalizing plans to send Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Three US officials have told Reuters that the US is finalizing plans to send the coveted Patriot missile defense to Ukraine. The Patriot is one of the most advanced American air defense systems and is usually in short supply.
Ukraine has asked the West for air defenses, including US-made Patriot systems, to protect its energy infrastructure from heavy Russian air strikes, Reuters said.
Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the US officials said Tuesday that an official announcement about sending Ukraine the Patriot system could be made as early as this week – if President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin give formal approval.
“It’s very, very significant,” Alexander Vindman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who led Ukraine policy during the Trump administration, told Reuters.
“These are going to be quite capable of dealing with a lot of different challenges the Ukrainians have, especially if the Russians bring in short-range ballistic missiles” from Iran.
The Biden administration has so far limited the use of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers to targets inside Ukraine, and it is not clear what restrictions might be applied to the Patriot system, Reuters said. It is also not yet known which version and range or how many units of the Patriot system would be delivered.
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