TechUS in talks to send Israeli Patriot missile systems to Ukraine

US in talks to send Israeli Patriot missile systems to Ukraine

Israeli Patriot launcher
Israeli Patriot launcher
Images source: © Licensor | Zachi Evenor and MathKnight

8:01 AM EDT, June 28, 2024

The United States is in talks about sending Israeli Patriot systems to Ukraine. Eight older batteries could significantly strengthen Ukraine's air defense and improve its offensive capabilities. Analysts have described the weapon's capabilities.

Ukraine has frequently appealed to Western allies for air defense systems, especially American Patriot systems. This weaponry is significant for strengthening the country's air defense, though it can also be used offensively (such as in the downing of a Beriev A-50 early warning aircraft).

Recently, the United States announced a pause in deliveries of Patriot interceptors to other countries to prioritize Ukraine. Simultaneously, Romania and the Netherlands have confirmed missile system transfers. According to the Financial Times, discussions are also underway about sending Israeli missile systems to Ukraine.

Israeli Patriots for Ukraine?

The first reports of transferring Israeli weaponry appeared in May when citizens began collecting signatures for a petition to the government. The chances for this are exceptionally high, especially since the United States is encouraging such action.

The Israeli batteries are older versions than the current Patriot systems in Ukraine. However, this is not a significant loss. According to military analysts, the older, retired PAC-2 model is still fully compatible with the newer ones. Most importantly, Israel has sufficient interceptor stocks with a greater range and stronger warheads than the PAC-3 models in use.

Israeli Patriot missile system launcher
Israeli Patriot missile system launcher© IDF

Older systems may be effective against Russian fighters, which drop devastating glide bombs on cities and military positions far from the front lines.

"PAC-2 is actually more useful than PAC-3 for long range intercepts against aircraft, so they'd certainly be useful," said Justin Bronk, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Officials and analysts believe the Israeli systems are most likely to be sold to the United States and then transferred to Ukraine — up to eight Patriot air defense systems could reach Kyiv. However, they add that the key issue is whether Israel is ready to risk worsening relations with Russia.

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