Spain has begun to provide technical maintenance training for the Patriot missile system to Ukrainian military personnel, Spanish media outlet Cope reported on Feb. 2.
Military personnel from Spain's Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command are currently leading the training near the city of Valencia, in support of Ukraine as part of the European Union Military Assistance Mission. The Patriot missile system training is one of the commitments made by the Spanish Armed Forces to enhance the training of Ukrainian military personnel in 2024, the country's General Staff said on Friday.
The Patriot system is recognized as one of the world's best air defense systems, enabling Ukraine to shoot down missiles and reduce the risk of infrastructure damage and civilian casualties during Russian attacks.
Ukraine received its first Patriot systems in April 2023 and soon after proved their effectiveness by downing at least 15 air-launched ballistic Kinzhal missiles, lauded by Moscow as "unstoppable hypersonic" weapons.
In recent months, NATO allies have moved to strengthen the alliance's air defense as Russian aggression in Europe continues. On Jan. 3, NATO's Support and Procurement Agency announced a deal for the purchase of 1,000 Patriot air defense missiles for coalition members, including Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain
In December, Japan also announced that the country had changed the rules on weapons exports and would send Patriot missiles to the U.S., paving the way for the U.S. to replenish its stocks while potentially sending Ukraine some of its own current supply.
In addition to the Patriot missile training, the Spanish brigade continues to instruct selected Ukrainian soldiers to lead small combat units in Girona, with new training to commence in the coming month, Spain's General Staff said.
Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Spain has trained around 3,500 soldiers, making it the third-largest contributing European country in the training of Ukrainian personnel.