Ukraine’s air defense network will become even stronger in coming months, with delivery of more powerful US-made Patriot systems, and ammo, on tap as a key element in a growing flow of modern anti-aircraft reinforcements heading to Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelensky at a Wednesday press conference confirmed more Raytheon-manufactured Patriot systems – a multi-platform network of radars, missile launch platforms, mobile generators and command vehicles – would be received by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in early 2024.

“We are expecting another Patriot system from there (Germany), and that is a very important decision for us. We understand how it will help us, and we know where we will deploy it, in a region that is every day fighting for its life (against Russian air attacks),” Zelensky said.


Ukraine will in future receive multiple Patriot systems donated by Western states, Zelensky said. He declined to identify contributing countries or give details on delivery timelines which resulted, he said, from “very serious and difficult” talks with allied governments.

“There have been serious discussions with partners and the quantity, I won’t say exactly how many, for new Patriot systems to come to Ukraine to defend our country. This is a very important result, (but) I promised not to make public the quantity that will come to defend us,” Zelensky said.

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Policy planners in Kyiv and Washington have worried about the $4 million per missile cost of a single Patriot missile launch and falling stocks of the munitions worldwide. Ukrainian gunners sometimes launch eight or ten Patriots in a matter of minutes to intercept Russian missiles aimed at Ukrainian cities.

According to a Dec. 19 Washington Post article, the US and Japan will in coming weeks sign a deal whereby Patriot missiles manufactured by Raytheon in Japan for Tokyo’s forces could transfer missiles to American forces, allowing the Pentagon to send missiles from its own stocks to Ukraine in 2024.


Kyiv received a pair of Patriot systems, one each from the US and Germany, in mid-2022 and a third system donated by Berlin went operational in Ukraine in Dec. 2023.  In the past the AFU has used its Patriots, and a single similarly capable French-Italian system called SAMP/T, to defend major cities.

Designed in the 1990s, the high-tech American Patriot has proved itself to be the most effective air defense system operated by either side in the Russo-Ukraine War, capable of shutting down airspace up to 140 km distant to practically all Russian aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The system has become a backbone to Ukraine’s national air defense network in a battle against systematic Russian cruise and ballistic missile bombardment, launched in Oct. 2022 as part of a Kremlin campaign to force Kyiv’s capitulation through long-range destruction of Ukrainian homes and businesses, and the Ukrainian power grid. 

Patriot batteries manned by Ukrainian crews have according to official Kyiv statements on Dec. 15 set a possible single-day world record by shooting down ten Russian ballistic missiles aimed at the Ukrainian capital, in mere minutes.


In late 2022 the AFU took its first delivery of an NASMS anti-aircraft system, a US-Norwegian anti-aircraft missile accounted by Ukrainian gunners to be nearly as effective as the Patriot against Russian aircraft and cruise missiles, but with a shorter, 40 km range and lacking the ability to intercept ballistic missiles.

The US, Canada, Norway and Lithuania have announced plans to turn over from existing stocks or purchase and deliver a total 19 systems to the AFU.

A Dec. 13 Norwegian government statement said Oslo will spend $32.5 million to deliver more NASMS missiles and support equipment to Ukraine.

According to that statement, Norway has already sent eight launch units and four fire control systems, and that a similar eight launchers and four fire control systems will be donated by Norway to Ukraine in coming months.

The NASMS systems will be newly produced and sent to Ukraine as soon as they are manufactured, the statement said

According to other Ukrainian defense sector media, Ukraine’s national air defense network in coming months also will be beefed up with deliveries massed deliveries of shorter-ranged infrared tracking AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

Designed as a NATO-standard air-to-air weapon in the 1950s and frequently and extensively updated, the missile to be received by Ukraine will be modified to fire from ground launchers.


Although less capable than the modern Patriot or the advanced NASMS, a shorter-ranged AIM-9 costs 15-20 times less than a Patriot missile, depending on the model, Defense Ekspres reported.

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