U.S. Trains 65 Ukrainians in Handling PATRIOT Air Defense System; the Biggest Threat to Russian Jets

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 05:19 AM, March 31, 2023
  • 708
U.S. Trains 65 Ukrainians in Handling PATRIOT Air Defense System; the Biggest Threat to Russian Jets
Patriot air defense system

The United States has completed Training of 65 Ukrainian soldiers in handling of the PATRIOT air defense systems (ADS) which pose the most potent threat to Russian jets such as the Su-35.

"Just this week, 65 Ukrainian air defenders completed Patriot training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and have now arrived back in Europe,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing today.

The Ukrainian soldiers have departed for Kyiv who will now impart Patriot ADS training to their fellow soldiers.

Washington and its NATO partners have committed to provide an unspecified number of Patriot ADS to Ukraine.

The U.S., Germany and the Netherlands have all pledged Patriot systems to Ukraine, Ryder said.

"Once in Ukraine, the Patriot air defense system will add to Ukraine's layered air defenses to provide protection and shield from Russia's wanton, brutal attacks on innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure," he said.

Patriot missile defense has an impressive track record of shooting down ballistic missiles than drones and slow-moving cruise missiles. The plan to deliver them to Ukraine came at a time when Iran allegedly agreed to send ballistic missiles to Russia.

The Patriot uses a single type of missile to destroy enemy targets, unlike Russian missile systems like the S-300 or S-400, which employ many classes of missiles, each tailored to combat a particular type of target. The system’s maximum range is 70km. The PAC-2 variant can intercept targets up to a 20km altitude and the PAC-3 up to a 40km altitude.

Russian ballistic missiles like the Iskander maneuver to prevent interception. However, the Iran-made missiles like the 300km range Fateh-110 and the 700km range Zolfaghar follow a basic ballistic trajectory and could be an easy game for the Patriot.

Su-35s and Su-30s jets flown by the Russians are far more superior in capabilities than Ukraine’s Soviet-era Su-27 and MiG-29 jets. The Patriots could help the latter destroy Russian warplanes.

However, in an interview with Russian state media in December, President Vladimir Putin said he is "100%” sure Moscow can “weed out” the Patriots. He considers the Patriot a “fairly outdated system."

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