Home Europe US approves Patriot missile system for Ukraine as Zelenskyy visits Washington

US approves Patriot missile system for Ukraine as Zelenskyy visits Washington

Patriot for Ukraine
Illustration: US Army file photo of a live fire exercise with Patriot missiles

The US Defense Department has approved the transfer of a single Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine on the day of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the White House.

The $1.85 billion worth of US military aid for Ukraine from December 21 includes the authorization of a presidential drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $1 billion, as well as $850 million in assistance via the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

The presidential drawdown is the twenty-eighth such drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine that the Biden Administration has authorized since August 2021.

In addition to the Patriot air defense battery and munitions, the drawdown will include additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, and 120mm, 82mm and 60mm mortar systems.

Also included are additional Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, Humvees, armored utility trucks, High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs), grenade launchers and small arms, Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
demolition munitions and equipment, night vision devices and optics and other field equipment.

As part of the USAI, under which the US procures capabilities from industry rather than delivering equipment that is drawn down from DoD stocks, the Pentagon will also provide Ukraine with 45,000 152mm artillery rounds, 20,000 122mm artillery rounds, 50,000 122mm GRAD rockets, 100,000 rounds of 125mm tank ammunition, and SATCOM terminals and services;

“Russia’s unrelenting and brutal air attacks against critical infrastructure have only reinforced the need to provide Ukraine with sophisticated air defense capabilities. At president Biden’s direction, the United States has prioritized the provision of air defense systems to help Ukraine defend its people from Russian aggression,” the Pentagon said in the announcement.

Once operational, the Patriot air defense system will add to a layered defense to counter the full range of threats currently menacing Ukraine’s cities and civilians. It will augment previous air defense capabilities the United States has provided Ukraine, which include NASAMs, missiles for HAWK air defense systems, Stingers, and equipment to counter the Russian use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

In total, the United States has now committed more than $21.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed approximately $24 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and approximately $21.2 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion on February 24.