The Polish Defense Ministry clarified the statement about "Patriot" air defense for Ukraine: have the systems already been transferred to Kyiv?
The first Patriot systems have not yet arrived in Ukraine. The transfer of these air defense systems is still being prepared, the Ministry of National Defense of Poland and Ukrainian Air Force have said.
They clarified the statement of Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who earlier said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper LA RAZÓN that the first Patriots had already arrived in Ukraine. According to the official statement of the Ministry of National Defense of Poland, Błaszczak's words were misinterpreted.
Thus, during the interview, Błaszczak said that Ukraine allegedly already has the first Patriot surface-to-air missile systems.
"I must emphasize that thanks to Poland's efforts, Patriot batteries or the first Leopard tanks, among other things, have already reached Ukraine; we are not only the main point of transfer of aid, but also one of the largest donors. Since the beginning of the war, we have transferred more than 2.2 billion euros worth of weapons to Ukraine, and this amount does not include the costs we incur for training the Ukrainian military or the latest package of "armored vehicles", which includes Leopard 2A4 tanks," Błaszczak said, answering a journalist's question about how Poland supports Ukraine and whether it is trying to convince other Western partners to increase supplies of equipment and weapons to the Ukrainian army.
However, the Ministry of National Defense of Poland denied this information. They noted that Błaszczak's words were misinterpreted and that there was a "translation error."
"The intention of the Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak was to point out that thanks to Poland's efforts, a decision to transfer the Patriot battery was made," the Polish ministry commented in an interview with the Spanish edition.
The Ukrainian Air Force also denied the arrival of Patriot in Ukraine. These systems are still only expected.
"Of course, Patriot will be in Ukraine, the decision has been made, soildiers are training. We expect it in the near future. Indeed, it will happen," said Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, during the "United News" telethon.
Yurii Ihnat noted that Ukrainians will learn about the Patriot arrival when the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Mykola Oleshchuk tests the system while driving, as he did with the IRIS-T, or when the Air Force announces the first Russian aircraft shot down by air defense.
"Patriot is capable of shooting down targets at a distance of up to 150 km, aerodynamic targets. Ballistic targets are less - 40 km. So let's be patient and wait for this news to really be in Ukraine," the Air Force spokesman added.
During the interview, Błaszczak also emphasized that the world can work together to help Ukraine defeat Russia. However, on the issue of transferring Western fighter jets to Ukrainian soldiers, which Kyiv is currently seeking, the decision should be made by all allies.
"I would like to emphasize that only our joint actions - the actions of the entire free world - can tip the scales of this unjust conflict in the right direction. Regarding the issue of aircraft, decisions on this need to be made at a broader allied level," said the Polish Defense Minister.
The Patriot air defense system is essentially an integrated air defense system. The system covers a radius of up to 68 kilometers. Its radar can simultaneously track up to 50 targets and hit five of them. Depending on the version, the interceptor missiles can reach an altitude of more than two kilometers and hit targets at a distance of up to 160 kilometers. According to the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, each missile system requires about 90 military personnel to operate.
The most important thing for Ukraine is that this system is capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, and currently, Ukrainian air defense does not have the ability to counter these air targets.
At the same time, the main disadvantage of the Patriot system is its cost. The new Patriot system costs more than a billion dollars. This price consists of $400 million for the system and $690 million for the missiles in it, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). According to the RAND Corporation for Defense Studies, a single test target interception by the Patriot system can cost up to $100 million. Many of the targets targeted by air defense, such as drones, are much cheaper than the cost of eliminating them.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Air Force stated that Ukraine needs Patriot and SAMP/T air defense systems to shoot down the occupiers' ballistic missiles. A number of our country's allies, including the United States and Germany, have agreed to provide them.
At the same time, the United States, where the Ukrainian military is training with these systems, said that Ukraine's defenders are mastering the Patriot system well ahead of schedule. The success of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in mastering the Patriot systems was also reported in Germany, where exercises are also underway.
After learning about the decision of Western countries to strengthen Ukraine's air defense with modern systems, Russian President Vladimir Putin again made a statement about Western weapons: after the United States announced that it would provide Ukraine with Patriot systems, the dictator said that the "second army of the world" would easily "snap" them.
Only verified information on our Obozrevatel Telegram channel and Viber. Don't fall for fakes!