Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Expensive, effective and tested by Ukraine: how Patriot air defense systems help close the sky

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun21,2024

Expensive, effective and tested by Ukraine: how Patriot air defense systems help close the sky

Air defense – one of the most important areas of work for our country, because the Russians attack from the air every day. In April 2024 alone, the enemy used about 300 missiles, the same number of kamikaze drones and more than 3,200 guided aerial bombs to strike Ukraine.

In particular, enemy attacks affected the energy system of Ukraine. The occupiers destroyed Zmiyivska and Trypilska TPPs. The last – due to the lack of air defense equipment. Therefore, Ukraine started consultations with allies in order to get more air defense systems, and first of all – Patriot air defense system.

According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, our country needs at least 7 such complexes to protect the most vulnerable areas. And now the partners are working to ensure that our state receives this minimum.

What is known about the Patriot air defense system, what are its capabilities and how it has already proven itself in Ukraine – read in the material 24 Channel.

After a series of strikes on the energy industry, in particular on Ukrainian TPPs, DniproHPP and other facilities, the issue of closing the sky became particularly acute. Therefore, after consultations with Ukraine, the partners agreed to provide our country with more air defense systems. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that we are talking about various anti-aircraft missile systems, not only the American Patriot.

Instead, Germany initiated an inspection of all Patriot air defense systems available to the Allies. As a result – 6 systems were found that Ukraine can get. According to Estonian Prime Minister Kaia Kallas, this is exactly what our state asked for.

The Netherlands decided to purchase one complex for Ukraine. Spain and Poland refused to provide these air defense systems to Ukraine in view of their own defense needs.

Will Greece transfer this system – so far the question The thing is that Greece is a very militarized country due to disputes with Turkey and the protection of the sky is also important for the country. However, the media reported earlier that Greece is ready to hand over the Patriot to Ukraine in exchange for security guarantees from the US regarding the Turkish threat.

Romania became another potential donor. Bucharest was not too keen on handing over its own Patriot systems to Ukraine, citing the need to protect its own skies.

The negotiations continued from the beginning of May and ended on June 20, 2024, when the Romanian Supreme Council of National Defense, during a meeting headed by the country's president Klaus Iohannis, decided to transfer the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

It is significant that President Iohannis ignored the report of the Ministry of Defense of Romania, in which the military said that “now is a bad time to send the Patriot system to Ukraine.” They were also supported by Prime Minister Marcel Čolaku.

Now the Romanian radars of air defense batteries will not only be able to watch with sadness the activity of Russian missiles literally under their noses, as was the case before, but also shoot them down with their own missiles.

Patriot –  is currently the best and probably the most famous air defense tool in the world. The name of the SAM – is actually a reverse abbreviation of Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target (in Ukrainian it can be translated as follows – Tracking radar with a phased array to intercept the target).

By the way, the Russian analogue of the Patriot is system S-400, however, the advantages of “analogovnets” remain mostly on paper, instead, the “American” proves its effectiveness in the real world. Currently, the Patriot air defense system is the main means of medium and long-range air defense in NATO.

This is a universal air defense system capable of intercepting targets at a long distance and truly “closing the sky”. Yes, for example only 4 complexes can cover an entire big city. The air defense system has very sensitive radars, capable of detecting targets from the smallest to the largest extremely effectively.

How does the Patriot – watch the powerful video:

An important advantage of Patriot is its multi-vectoring. This air defense system can simultaneously detect and recognize more than 100 air targets and continuously track 8 of them, as well as launch and guide up to 3 missiles at each of the 8 targets.

Expensive, effective and tested by Ukraine: how Patriot air defense systems help close the sky

What they are capable of Patriot air defense system/channel 24 infographic

MIM battery composition – 104 Patriot:

  • Fire control point,
  • AN/MPQ-65 radar,
  • 6 M903 launchers (optional – 4),
  • communication machine,
  • Field power station.

Patriot air defense system – is a large family that is constantly expanding, updating and modernizing. The latest developments are able to intercept even ballistic missiles, which is very relevant for Ukraine, in terms of information about the possible acquisition by the Russians of Iranian missiles “Fateh-110” and “Zolfaghar”.

In the future, the Patriot air defense system should completely replace the outdated Soviet S-300, but now the “Americans” should create a successful tandem with them to protect the Ukrainian sky. This is not an easy but ambitious task. SAM Patriot – a complex system that requires long-term training with it, coordination with the satellite and a complex process of integration into the echelon air defense system. However, high results and efficiency should compensate for everything.

  • Range to intercept aerodynamic targets: 80 kilometers (in a sector of 90 degrees), in the latest modifications: up to 150 – 160 kilometers with a PAC-2 missile;< /li>
  • Range of destruction of ballistic targets: 50 kilometers by PAC missile – 3 MSE;
  • Range of destruction of ballistic targets: 50 kilometers by PAC missile – 3 MSE;
  • Minimum target interception range: 3 kilometers ;
  • Maximum target interception height: 24.2 kilometers;
  • Minimum target interception height: 0.06 kilometers;
  • < li role="presentation">Number of simultaneously fired targets: 8 (in a sector of 90 degrees);

  • Missile speed: up to Mach 4.1;
  • Number of missiles in the launcher: up to 4 PAC-2, up to 16 PAC-3 MSE;
  • Probability of hitting the target: 0.8 (in combat conditions – 0.4 – 0.6);
  • Rocket weight: 912 kilograms;
  • li>
  • Rocket weight in TPK: 1,696 kilograms;
  • Diameter: 0.41 meters;
  • Length : 5.31 meters;
  • Rocket engine operating time: 12 seconds;
  • Guidance system: on the middle section –  radio command; on the final – radar TVM;
  • Combat unit: high-explosive fragmentation;
  • Warhead warhead: conventional explosive;
  • Detonator: KhM818, non-contact;
  • Container dimensions: 0.99 meters – 1.09 meters – 6.1 meters;
  • Deployment time from the march: 30 minutes.

Patriot air defense systems are in service with most NATO countries. They are manufactured by the American company Raytheon.

One Patriot battery (4 PU per battery) can cost from 550 million to 1.1 billion dollars, depending on the configuration and various options.

The last known sales of the Patriot air defense system are a contract to supply 7 batteries to Romania for $3.9 billion, as well as Poland – for $4.75 billion. The latter received 4 MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3+ batteries, with enhanced configuration and capabilities.

The cost of launching one missile from the Patriot air defense system is $3 million. Yes, this is a rather expensive pleasure, these air defense systems should work to intercept only those targets that other systems cannot cope with, that is, ballistic missiles and the so-called “supersonic” cruise missiles of the Russians (“Daggers”).

At the end of April 2023, the first two Patriot divisions with trained Ukrainian became military personnel on combat duty in Ukraine.

The Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that at around 2:30 a.m. on May 4, the “Patriot” air defense system shot down the Kh-47 “Kinzhal” aeroballistic missile in the sky of the Kyiv region . It was launched by a Russian MiG-31K from the territory of Russia. The target was monitored and escorted by the “Center” air command.

This was the first “Patriot” ballistic target in Ukraine. It was also the first time when a Russian Dagger missile was shot down in Ukraine.

In almost a year, the Patriot air defense system managed to destroy 26 Dagger aeroballistic missiles. The most effective was the work of the divisions during the massive attack on Kyiv on January 2, 2024 – then the air defense forces destroyed all 10 launched aeroballistic missiles.

In October 2022, during a meeting of the defense ministers of the countries participating in the anti-Russian coalition “Rammstein-6”, a decision was approved to create an integrated air and missile defense system in Ukraine and to build an echelon defense against Russian missiles. To implement this program, the allies began to provide our country with the best samples of air defense systems.

However, the United States hesitated whether it was really necessary to provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems. As with any other weaponry (such as tanks and long-range missiles), Washington feared that this move would “lead to escalation.” Nevertheless, the decision to provide the Patriot air defense system to our country was announced in December 2022 during Volodymyr Zelenskyi's visit to the USA.

This decision was preceded by the fall of a missile in Przewodów, Poland, on November 15, 2022, after which Germany moved its Patriot installation to Poland in the area of ​​the border with Ukraine, but the Polish authorities insisted that Ukraine needed these systems.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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