Following last week’s announcement that the U.S. will provide Ukraine with a long-sought Patriot missile battery, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the U.S. President Joe Biden administration had a special plan to get the battery ready to be operational in less than six months.
In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Kuleba said the training would be “very much less than six months,” without giving a specific time frame. The training to operate the Patriot, which usually involves 90 troops to operate, takes up to a year, according to multiple media reports.
The minister added that the training would be done “outside” Ukraine.
Politico media outlet reported on Dec. 23 that the Pentagon was considering training Ukrainian soldiers to operate the Patriot system at a military base in the United States.
Previously, U.S. forces planned to train Ukrainian troops to use and maintain Patriot systems in a third country, most likely Germany, before its deployment to Ukraine. Until now, no training on NATO-provided weapons systems has been done in the U.S.
The Patriot is the most advanced air defense weapon in the U.S. arsenal, and Ukraine has long sought to acquire it.