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U.S. Poised To Approve Ukraine’s Patriot Missile Battery

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U.S. Poised To Approve Ukraine's Patriot Missile Battery

(CTN NEWS) – WASHINGTON — U.S. officials said Tuesday they are gearing up to approve the shipment of Patriot missile batteries to Ukraine, following an urgent request by Ukrainian leaders desperate to shoot down incoming Russian missiles.

Three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision is not final and has not been made public said approval is likely to come later this week.

According to two officials, the Patriot will come from Pentagon stock and be transferred from another country overseas.

As recently as Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western leaders to provide more advanced weapons to aid his country in its war with Russia.

Ukraine will be able to repel Russian aerial attacks with the Patriot, the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to the country.

As part of his video conference with host Germany and other Group of Seven industrial powers on Monday.

Zelenskyy said to counter Russian attacks that have knocked out electricity and water supplies for millions of Ukrainians.

U.S. Poised To Approve Ukraine's Patriot Missile Battery

Patriot missiles are seen at the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, March 25, 2022, in Jasionka, Poland (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

His country needed long-range missiles, modern tanks, artillery, missile batteries, and other high-tech air defense systems.

“Russia continues to have an advantage regarding artillery and missiles,” he acknowledged.

In his view, protecting UUkraine’senergy facilities from Russian missiles and Iranian drones protects Europe as a whole, as Russia is provoking a humanitarian and migration catastrophe for Ukrainians and the entire EU with these strikes.

The White House and Pentagon have consistently said Ukraine needs additional air defenses, and Patriot missiles have been considered for some time.

As winter approached and the Russian bombardment of civilian infrastructure escalated, officials said, this consideration became increasingly important.

At briefings on Tuesday, Pentagon and State Department officials refused to confirm the plan to supply Patriots to Ukraine.

The United States balked at providing weapons to Ukraine because they might trigger a response from Moscow.

In addition to the PPatriot’straining requirements, there were concerns that U.S. troops would be needed to operate it. As Biden has rejected the idea, U.S. combat troops should not be sent to Ukraine.

In response to a question about training, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, said that the U.S. considers those needs when supplying complicated weapons systems to Ukraine.

This includes the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS. In other European countries, such as Germany, U.S. forces train Ukrainian troops on various systems, including HIMARS.

U.S. Poised To Approve Ukraine's Patriot Missile Battery

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a change of command ceremony for U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

CNN first reported the administration’s potential approval of the Patriot battery.

The United States will send a Patriot battery, officials said. Each Patriot launcher can hold four missiles, making up a truck-mounted Patriot battery.

According to the Army, operating and maintaining the entire system, which consists of a phased array radar, a control station, computers, and generators, typically requires 90 soldiers. However, only three are required to fire it.

U.S. allies, including eastern European nations worried that Russia could target them next, are heavily in demand for Patriot missile systems and other sophisticated surface-to-air weapons.

In recent years, the U.S. has dealt with systems in the Middle East. These protect allies from incoming ballistic missiles from Iran and other countries.

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