Germany Delivers PATRIOT Missiles to Ukraine as Part of a New Aid Package

On August 24, 2023, Germany announced a new package that includes missiles for the PATRIOT air defense system. PATRIOT missiles are surface-to-air guided missiles known for their agility, accuracy, and ability to intercept various airborne threats.
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PATRIOT System medium-range anti-aircraft defense system (Picture source: German MoD )

The PATRIOT missile system is a mobile surface-to-air and anti-ballistic missile system, designed and manufactured in the United States. It was put into service in 1981, reaching its initial operational capacity in 1984. The main designers of the system are Raytheon, Hughes, and RCA, while the manufacturers include Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.

Regarding the unit cost, the domestic cost for a battery is about 1.09 billion US dollars (for fiscal year 2022), and for a single PAC-3 MSE missile, the cost is 4 million US dollars. For export, the cost for a battery ranges between 2.37 and 2.5 billion US dollars, and for a single missile, it is between 6 and 10 million US dollars (for fiscal year 2018).

The PATRIOT system has been produced since 1976, and so far, 1,106 launchers have been built in the United States, of which 483 were in service in 2010. Additionally, more than 172 launchers have been exported, and over 10,000 missiles have been manufactured. The system continues to be an essential element of air defense for many countries and has been used in various conflicts around the world.

But the new German aid for Ukraine is not limited only to the donation of PATRIOT missiles but also includes other equipment that will undoubtedly be very quickly integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces.

The aid package also includes 10 RQ-35 Heidrun drones, mainly used for reconnaissance and surveillance. These drones provide real-time intelligence, enhancing situational awareness on the battlefield. Ukraine will receive 16 Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks known for their robustness and versatility. These heavy-duty trucks can be used for transportation, and logistics, and serve as mobile command centers, enhancing the mobility and efficiency of Ukrainian forces. The aid package also includes 510,000 cartridges, ensuring an adequate supply of ammunition for the training and operational needs of the Ukrainian forces.

German military aid is one of the most significant and does not seem to be waning at the moment. The German government is even still in discussions to potentially deliver TAURUS missiles to the Ukrainians.