Germany to deploy Patriot air defense missile system in Poland near border with Ukraine

According to a Tweet published by the Polish Ministry of Defense on November 21, 2022, Poland accepted the proposal of the German Ministry of Defense to deploy additional Patriot air defense missile systems in Poland, near the border to Ukraine. This request was made following the crash of the S-300 missile in Poland on November 15, 2022.
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German army launcher vehicle of the Patriot air defense missile system. (Picture source NATO)

The United States had already repositioned two Patriot missile defense batteries in Poland since March 2022, due to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army.

After the incident of November 15, 2022, Germany offered to Poland the deployment of the Patriot air defense systems which are in service with the German armed forces. Germany has also offered to protect the airspace of Poland with Eurofighter aircraft from the German air force.

In March 2018, Poland signed a $4.75 billion contract to acquire American Patriot air defense systems and in May 2022 Poland requested six additional Patriot missile air defense system batteries. Citing a military source, the first battery of the Patriot air defense system for Poland will be delivered next year.

Currently, the Polish armed forces do not have air defense systems able to counter aerial threats such as ballistic missiles. In April 2018, Poland has launched the WISLA program in order to modernize the air defense capabilities of the Polish armed forces. The first phase of this program consisted of acquiring two PATRIOT air defense missile batteries in the PAC 3+ configuration with the IBCS (Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System).

As Poland will not be able to receive its first patriots until next year, it has asked Germany to provide its own Patriot air defense system.

The Patriot MIM-104 is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed and manufactured by the American company Raytheon. The missile is designed to destroy aerial threats such as aircraft, missiles, drones, and the latest version has now improved tracking and targeting capability allowing the system to destroy high-speed, maneuvering ballistic missiles at a maximum range of 30 km and following a different trajectory than standard ballistic missiles which follow a parabola-like trajectory.

Currently, the German armed forces have a total of 30 MIM-104C/F Patriot PAC-2/PAC-3. The new missile of the Patriot PAC-3 has increased effectiveness against tactical ballistic and cruise missiles through the use of advanced hit-to-kill technology. The radar of the Patriot system is able to detect aerial threats at a range of up to 150 km and the PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles could intercept ballistic missiles with a range from 15 to 20 km.