The United States will soon send a second battery of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine, the New York Times (NYT) reports, citing senior American officials.

According to the cited source, President Joe Biden approved this decision last week following high-level discussions on how best to support Ukraine’s air defence without compromising US military readiness.

The Patriot system will be transferred from Poland, where it currently protects an American rotational force that will be soon returning to the US, officials said.

Depending on any required maintenance or modifications, officials expect it could be deployed on the Ukrainian front line in the coming days.

The Patriot system is one of the scarcest in the US arsenal, with only 14 deployed worldwide, one senior military official told NYT. Transferring these systems is difficult because the US needs to protect its troops and bases globally.

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For example, a Patriot battery in Oklahoma is utilized for training American and Ukrainian soldiers, and moving it would disrupt these training activities.

Despite the challenges, American officials are keenly aware of Ukraine’s urgent need for more weapons. In a show of international solidarity, they are hopeful that by sending another Patriot system, other allies will be inspired to do the same.

The Netherlands and Germany have already sent Patriot systems to Ukraine, and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius recently announced that Germany, along with Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway, would send an additional 100 interceptor missiles to bolster Ukraine’s air defense.

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Thirty-two of these interceptor missiles have already been delivered, with the rest to follow in the coming weeks.

After the US announced its intention to transfer Patriot missiles to Ukraine in December 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened that Russian troops “would destroy them as soon as they were delivered to Ukraine.”

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