Ukrainian soldiers trained in the United States in the Patriot anti-aircraft system

It is a long term investment. The United States will train Ukrainian forces at a military base in the southern state of Oklahoma in the operation and maintenance of the Patriot air defense system that Washington will supply to kyiv, announced the Pentagon on Tuesday.

The US executive unveiled a new package of aid to Ukraine late last year, including a Patriot surface-to-air missile system, long requested by kyiv, to counter attacks from Russia.

“Training of Ukrainian forces in the use of the Patriot air defense system will begin next week at Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder told reporters.

Hundreds of soldiers trained

“This training will prepare between 90 and 100 Ukrainian soldiers to operate, maintain and maintain the defense system through training that is expected to last several months,” he added. “Once on the ground, the Patriot (…) will contribute to Ukrainian air defense and provide the Ukrainian people with an additional means to defend against the current Russian air assaults. »

Air defense systems have played a vital role in protecting Ukraine from strikes from Moscow and preventing Russian forces from taking control of airspace.

Since Russia suffered major setbacks on the ground, it opted for a tactic of massive bombardments of Ukrainian infrastructure, depriving millions of people of electricity, water and heating in the middle of winter.

Effective Against Scuds

Manufactured by Raytheon, the MIM-104 Patriot is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system originally developed to intercept high-flying aircraft.

It was modified in the 1980s to adapt to the new threat of tactical ballistic missiles. Patriots proved their effectiveness in the first Iraq War (1990-91) against Russian-made Scuds.

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The strategy of Ukraine’s allies is based on creating what the military calls a multi-layered ground-to-air defense, covering both short-range attacks at low altitude, medium-range attacks at medium altitude, and long range and high altitude.

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