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Ukraine, U.S., and Israel in Talks Over Israeli Patriot System Supply for Ukrainian Forces

Ukraine, U.S., and Israel in Talks Over Israeli Patriot System Supply for Ukrainian Forces

Air Defense Israel Military assistance Ukraine USA War with Russia

The USA, Israel, and Ukraine are negotiating to supply Kyiv with Patriot air defense systems, which are being decommissioned by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The Financial Times reported on this.

Although this agreement is not yet finalized, it is likely that Patriot air defense systems will first be shipped from Israel to the United States and then to Ukraine.

It is noted that not all of the systems that the Israeli military plans to decommission can get to Ukraine.

Пускова установка модернізованого ізраїльського комплексу Patriot PAC-2 Yahalom, 2017 рік. Фото: Армія оборони Ізраїлю

According to five people briefed on the talks, the agreement, which would mark a change in Israel’s relations with Moscow, was discussed between ministers and senior officials of the three countries.

The decommissioning of Patriot air defense systems by the Israeli army became known in late April.

The decommissioned batteries will be replaced with more advanced air defense systems, in particular David’s Sling system and the widely known Israeli-designed Iron Dome.

Read more about the Israeli Patriot systems in the article “Israel’s patriot air defense: counting systems and assessing capabilities” on Militarnyi.

The Financial Times notes that the air defense systems have not been completely decommissioned due to fears that tensions with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group could escalate into a full-scale war.

Пускова установка та радар комплексу Patriot PAC-2 в Хайфі, Ізраїль, 29 серпня 2013 року. Фото: Baz Ratner

Israel has been cautious about taking sides on the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given Moscow’s influence in Syria, where the Israeli air force often operates against Iranian proxy groups.

U.S. officials have tried to convince Benjamin Netanyahu’s government that Russia’s increasingly close ties with Iran, especially in military cooperation, are a more pressing issue.

Israeli Patriot air defense systems

It is known that a certain number of Patriot PAC-2 air defense batteries are in service with the Israel Defense Forces. They are armed with GEM-T missiles, are capable of intercepting aerial targets at a distance of up to 160 km, and have limited potential for intercepting ballistic targets.

According to journalists from The War Zone, at the end of 2023, Israel had 8 batteries with an unknown number of launchers.

The systems appear to be mounted on both semi-trailers and the chassis of German MAN trucks, as suggested by the photos published online.

Пускова установка ЗРК Patriot PAC-2 на півночі Ізраїлю, 2 серпня 2018 року. Фото: Basel Awidat

A number of Israeli Patriot PAC-2 as part of the local modernization program, were brought to the Yahalom version. According to published data, the modernization involves a software and hardware system update, which will allow the use of PAC-3 missiles capable of reliably intercepting ballistic missiles.

Anti-aircraft batteries entered Israeli service in 1991. Their first combat use occurred only in 2014, when the complex was shot down by a Hamas drone launched from the Gaza Strip.

Over the next decade, a system designed to shoot down aircraft intercepted about 10 targets, including Syrian fighter jets that violated Israeli airspace in 2014 and 2018. It was repeatedly used during the current hostilities against Hamas and to intercept missiles from Iran.

As previously reported, citizens of Israel appealed to their government officials to transfer the decommissioned Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine.

Air Defense Israel Military assistance Ukraine USA War with Russia