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A German Patriot system on an open field in Zamosc, Poland, on Feb. 18, 2023. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)
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U.S.-made missiles for the Patriot air defense system manufactured for Switzerland are to be delivered to Ukraine despite contractual obligations, the Swiss outlet Blick reported on June 19, citing undisclosed sources.

According to Blick, Bern has an order totaling $340 million with Washington for the PAC-3 variant of the missile.

Sources told the outlet that the U.S. has decided to delay delivery to Switzerland and send them instead to Ukraine, which is in dire need of the weapons to protect against Russian aerial attacks.

The PAC-3 missile is the most advanced used by the Patriot air defense system and is effective against ballistic missiles. Each missile costs $4.1 million.

They are in high demand as European countries seek to bolster their own air defenses amid rising tensions with Russia.

A German-led initiative is seeking to get more Patriot missiles to Ukraine, with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on June 11 announcing 68 were on their way to Kyiv.

The decision comes as Ukraine faces increased Russian attacks on its population centers and infrastructure.

Pistorius emphasized the urgency of strengthening Ukraine's air defenses, referencing his recent visit to Odesa, where he observed the devastating effects of Russian missile strikes. He also unveiled an aid package valued at 500 million euros ($542 million).

Berlin launched the initiative in April amid Kyiv's increasingly dire need for air defenses, facing heavy Russian aerial attacks against population centers and the energy grid.

A number of countries have already backed the initiative since then, including Belgium, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and others.

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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