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29 May, 2024 09:23

NATO country seeks parts to assemble Patriot missile system for Ukraine

The Netherlands has called on its fellow EU members to send it complimentary components, the defense minister has said
NATO country seeks parts to assemble Patriot missile system for Ukraine

The Netherlands doesn’t have all the parts to produce a Patriot air defense system it has promised to Ukraine, and is seeking help from other countries so that it may assemble one quickly, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced on Tuesday. Amsterdam has proposed rapidly assembling a system with other EU members that own the weapons array.

“We are engaged in talks with partners to compile a Patriot system, including training for Ukrainian crews,” Ollongren said without specifying which countries she meant.

Recognizing the scarcity of Patriots, she highlighted the urgency of sending the weapons system to Kiev amid Russia’s recent advances, describing the Ukraine conflict as “Europe’s fight.”

“With our offer, and consulting with partner countries providing several key parts and munitions, we can provide Ukraine with at least one fully operational system in a short time-frame,” the defense minister said.

Each Patriot battery is comprised of a power plant, radar and control stations, truck-mounted missile launchers, and support vehicles, and costs around $1 billion.

Kiev has long sought to acquire more air defense systems from its Western backers in order to achieve parity with Russia.

During his visit to Kiev earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is “intensely focused” on finding and delivering Patriots and other air defense systems to Ukraine. Vladimir Zelensky told Blinken that his military needed two Patriot batteries to protect the Kharkov Region alone, where Russian forces have been advancing in recent weeks.

In late March, then-Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that at least five Patriot missile launchers operated by Ukraine had been destroyed since the start of the year.

Russia has warned repeatedly that foreign weapons being sent to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, and will merely prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.