Germany handed over the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine for better defense against Russian air attacks. The weapon system had been delivered, the federal government announced on its website for armament aid to Ukraine. The Bundeswehr had also taken on the training of soldiers in an express program.
Patriot ("Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target") is one of the most modern air defense systems in the world. This can be used to combat enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The German government is thus helping Ukraine to fend off the numerous attacks aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure.
Final touch for operating crews during practice
According to information from the German Press Agency, the operating teams trained by the USA and Germany recently demonstrated their skills with a joint exercise on the military premises of a NATO partner. Ukrainian anti-aircraft personnel received the finishing touches to successfully use Patriot to repel Russian airstrikes.
At a distance of around 100 kilometers and up to an altitude of 30 kilometers, the defense missiles can hit targets in an imaginary bell around the position - depending on the guided missile used. Together with the USA, Germany had agreed to provide Ukraine with a modern air defense system to defend against Russian attacks.
Individual training for the Ukrainian soldiers has begun, explains Markus König, commander of Anti-Aircraft Missile Group 21 and the person responsible for training the Ukrainians. Soon it was about the interaction of the individual components, i.e. the launcher, fire control center and fire control radar. The fire control crews were trained in "tactical firefighting".
"Effective air defense is life insurance"
"With the help of simulation-supported training, the Ukrainian crews were gradually confronted with increasingly complex situations. Again and again they had to find their way around the most varied of threat scenarios, correctly assess the situation in order to ultimately make the right decision to successfully combat an air raid," he said the lieutenant colonel. "What works under optimal conditions during the day must also run perfectly at night."
According to this information, the operating crews are now able to set up the weapon system and conduct firefights against approaching targets. That will contribute to a significant strengthening of their air defense, said the German officer. And: "Effective air defense is Ukraine's life insurance."
Only the sharp shot, as practiced by the Bundeswehr on a NATO firing range on the Greek island of Crete, was not possible. However, the Ukrainian soldiers had real combat experience with other air defense systems. The Ukrainian armed forces will now decide for themselves how Patriot is deployed. König expects: "It can be assumed that it will be deployed immediately."
More than two weeks ago, Ukraine also received another Iris-T SLM air defense system from Germany - the second of these systems. A government spokeswoman for the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" confirmed that the delivery had taken place. According to the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, the system developed by the Diehl armaments group and other partners helped protect the greater Kiev area much better, the newspaper said. According to Klitschko, the hit rate is 100 percent.