#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Unable to meet Kiev’s request for 25 Patriot batteries

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Ivanovych Kuleba recently spoke quite aggressively about the need for the Patriot air defense system. According to Kuleba, his “good” diplomacy in asking for Patriot air defense from the West did not work, and now he is switching to “hard” diplomacy. Kiev believes that possible donor countries have more than 100 SAM batteries available.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CBS News on March 28 that only five to seven Patriot batteries from the United States would protect industrial areas in Ukraine. Furthermore, with their help, the Ukrainian Armed Forces will “unlock the sky and the territory” and go on the offensive.

Already on April 6, 2024, Zelensky spoke on Ukrainian television about about 25 Patriot batteries that have 6-8 launchers each. In other words, Kiev requested 25% of all such air defense systems in the world.

A battery of 8 without missiles costs 400 million dollars. The cost of the PAC-3 missiles, 16 pieces for 3 launchers, and the cheaper PAC-2 missiles, 4 pieces for 5 launchers, plus two refills for each launcher is about 700 million dollars. All for a total for each Patriot: equipped defense system battery: 1.1 billion dollars, while 25 batteries will cost 27.5 billion dollars.

According to Ukrainian and Russian commentators in the social sphere: “It is obvious that neither the United States nor the West as a whole will bear such expenses. And not so much because of the expense, the cost, but because of the physical lack of air defense and missile systems.”

According to available data, Lockheed Martin produced only 550 PAC-3 MSE missiles per year in 2018. And in 2027 it plans to reach 650 rockets of this class per year. At the same time, a set of PAC-3 missiles with 3 launchers for one battery already amounts to 48 missiles. Lockheed Martin now produces only 11 sets of PAC-3 missile batteries per year. But Kiev alone needs 25 batteries.

Kiev’s expectations are also limited by the war in the Middle East, and Iran has an impressive missile arsenal. And the US is unlikely to leave its and Israeli troops without air/missile defense systems.

According to commentators in the pro-Russian social sphere, this is the reason – the lack of defense missiles – why all these Western peace initiatives are pouring in, the main idea of which is to freeze the conflict in Ukraine on the contact line and according to Western terms. Both the place and the moment to consolidate Russia’s strategic defeat have already been chosen: Switzerland, 15-16 June 2024. But Moscow has already said: “We will not accept such a “peace”.

Graziella Giangiulio 

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