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FT: US to halt deliveries of Patriot interceptor missiles to other countries to prioritize Ukraine supply

by Kateryna Denisova June 20, 2024 2:28 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. MIM-104 Patriot short-range anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles photographed on July 24, 2022, at Rzeszow Airport, Poland. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: A previous version of this story said that the move concerned the entire Patriot system including launchers and radars, but has since been edited after a correction made by the Financial Times.

Latest: White House confirms Ukraine to get priority on air defense missile deliveries

Washington is planning to suspend all open orders for Patriot air defense interceptor missiles until Ukraine receives enough to defend itself from Russian attacks, the Financial Times (FT) reported on June 20, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The reports came after President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. had acquired commitments from five countries to supply Patriot batteries and other air defense systems to Kyiv.

"We let it be known to those countries that are expecting from us air defense systems in the future that they’re going to have to wait," Biden said at after signing a 10-year security deal with President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Italy on June 13.

"Everything we have is going to go to Ukraine until their needs are met.  And then we will make good on the commitments we made to other countries."

Kyiv received its first Patriot battery from the U.S. in the first half of 2023, and since then, the U.S.' most advanced anti-air system has proved crucial in Ukraine's defense of its sky.

Germany has also delivered two of its systems, and the third one is on its way.

The U.S. is expected to announce on the redirection of Patriot air defense orders on June 20, three unnamed people told the FT. The statement will cement Biden's commitment to Kyiv and ensure that Ukraine receives the systems it needs to protect the country, the sources said.

Kyiv has been calling on its partners to provide additional air defenses as Russia intensifies its strikes against Ukrainian population centers and infrastructure. U.S.-made Patriot systems are highly effective at intercepting Russia's ballistic and cruise missiles.

Poland, Romania, and Germany are among the European countries with open orders for Patriot systems yet to be supplied, and Spain has orders for Patriot launchers, the FT wrote.

American missiles for the Patriots manufactured for Switzerland are to be delivered to Ukraine despite contractual obligations, the Swiss outlet Blick reported, citing undisclosed sources.

On June 13, the U.S. denied reports that the U.S. is planning to deliver another Patriot battery to Ukraine.

Zelensky inspects Patriot battery pledged to Ukraine during Germany visit
President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 11 visited the 21st Surface-to-Air Missile Group in Sanitz, Germany, and met Ukrainian soldiers trained to operate Patriot air defense systems.

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