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FT: US, Israel, and Ukraine are negotiating up to eight Patriot air defense systems

The air defense system is capable of downing cruise and ballistic missiles.
A Patriot system. Credit: Omar Marques/Getty Images)
FT: US, Israel, and Ukraine are negotiating up to eight Patriot air defense systems

The US, Israel, and Ukraine are negotiating up to eight Patriot air defense systems amid Russian missile strikes on the country’s energy infrastructure and the Kharkiv offensive, the Financial Times reports.

On 19 April, at the NATO-Ukraine Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine needs at least seven more Patriot systems “or similar air defense systems” to protect the skies over the country. In addition on 6 April, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine needs 25 Patriot systems to completely close its territory from enemy air attacks.

According to the Financial Times sources, Patriot systems will be sent first from Israel to the US before being delivered to Ukraine. Two months ago, Israel said it would begin retiring its eight Patriot batteries and replacing them with more advanced systems. However, they have not yet been discontinued as the war with Hamas still rages on.

If realized, such a transfer would represent a step change in Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. The country currently has several Patriot systems, which were supplied by the US and Germany. Four of the people said that while the transfer of all eight systems was being discussed, they might not all be sent to Ukraine.

Sources added that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba held talks on the matter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in recent weeks. The minister, though, hasn’t confirmed such negotiations took place.

“Ukraine continues to work with various countries around the world on obtaining additional Patriot systems. We once again urge all countries that have such systems to provide them to Ukraine,” stated Kuleba.

Earlier, a senior US official said the Biden administration would rush the delivery of air-defense interceptors to Ukraine by halting delivery to allied nations.

WSJ: Ukraine to receive Patriot and NASAMS interceptors directly from US production line in next 16 months, sources say

According to a senior US official, Ukraine would be given priority over the next 16 months, and the missiles would be delivered to Kyiv as they come off the assembly line.

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