May 30, 2023

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Moscow sees delivery of US Patriot missiles to Kiev as ‘escalation’

Moscow says delivery of US Patriot missiles is an ‘increase’

CNN’s report that Washington is considering supplying Kiev with Patriot defense missiles prompted a warning from the Russian embassy in the United States on Wednesday. “Unintended Consequences”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded during a briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

Many experts, including overseas, have questioned the rationale of such a move, which could lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of drawing the US military directly into the fray.

The US-supplied Patriot anti-aircraft system to Ukraine sends strong support to Kyiv and will bolster the country’s anti-aircraft defenses at a time when Russia is bombing its infrastructure, but the equipment is not a panacea.

They will be patriots “Far from a miracle solution” Ian Williams of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington underlines that, against the low-flying missiles and bombs dropped by drones used by Russian forces to systematically target Ukrainian infrastructure. The Patriot is particularly effective against high-flying ballistic missiles. Russia hasn’t used it in Ukraine yet, but that could change if it buys from Iran.

“Having multiple layers of ground-to-air defense helps when you’re dealing with these kinds of complex air strikes.”he said.

Manufactured by Raytheon, the MIM-104 Patriot is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system originally developed to intercept high-flying aircraft. It was modified in the 1980s to accommodate the new threat of tactical ballistic missiles. Patriots proved their effectiveness against Russian-made Scuds in the first Iraq War (1990-91).

Highly mobile, each Patriot battery includes a command center, radar to detect incoming threats, detection and jamming antennas, and launchers. All components are mounted on trucks. Each missile carries four PAC-2 missiles with a range of 160 kilometers, or sixteen next-generation PAC-3 missiles, which can reach only 40 km, but are more accurate, thanks to the on-board radar.

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The US can only deliver one or two batteries to Ukraine. Patriotism training is long and few systems exist in the United States. Washington could also appeal to other countries that bought them to join the effort.

There’s also the problem of choosing where to deploy them: a battery can protect a city or a large infrastructure, but not entire areas, Ian Williams underlines. “We have to decide what we’re going to protect. Priorities have to be set. It’s not going to protect the whole country.”he said.

Another factor to consider is price. Each Patriot missile costs $3 million, three times more than the Nassum missile currently in use.