Almost Impossible: Romania to Transfer Patriot Air Defense System to Ukraine

Patriot air defense system of Romania / Open source photo
Patriot air defense system of Romania / Open source photo

Romania has transferred 25% of its available Patriot PAC-3, which it began receiving just a few years ago

Despite the transfer of the Patriot battery to Ukraine from Romania being considered something from the category of impossible - it did happen. Members of Romania's Supreme Council of National Defense, in a session chaired by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on June 20, have opted to transfer a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine.

"In response to the escalating security crisis in Ukraine, exacerbated by sustained and extensive russian assaults on civilians and critical infrastructure, particularly in the energy sector, and considering the regional implications for Romania's security, the Council members, in close collaboration with allies, have opted to transfer the Patriot system to Ukraine," the statement reads.

Read more: Two More Patriots for Ukraine: U.S. Sends Whole Unit, and the Netherlands Provides the Core
Patriot air defense systems, Defense Express
Patriot air defense systems / Open source photo

According to Bucharest's decision, one battery is being transferred free of charge. It is noted that the transfer is taking place in close cooperation with partners. Furthermore, Romania is requesting primarily from the United States to provide a similar or equivalent system as a replacement.

For Bucharest, this is a significant step, as the country ordered seven Patriot PAC-3+ batteries from the United States in 2017, totaling approximately $4 billion. Four of them were allocated to the air force and were part of the initial delivery, while three were designated for the ground forces. Romania received its first Patriot air defense system only in September 2020, and as of June 2024, the country has received only four batteries, with only one of them fully operational.

Patriot air defense system, Defense Express
Patriot air defense system / Open source photo

However, in any case, Bucharest's decision is indeed a very powerful step, as the country has transferred 25% of its current Patriots, similar to Germany, which has overall transferred three batteries.

Read more: Patriot SAMbush: New Details on Ukraine's Destruction of a russian A-50 in January 2024