Yesterday, on December 13, American media reported on the plans of the U.S. top officials to authorize the supply of a new type of air defense capability to Ukraine, the Patriot anti-missile system. The official announcement is expected to come soon.
Although, according to the article published by The Washington Post in a while afterwards, "the senior administration official said Biden will sign off on the plan to give Ukraine a Patriot system only after the Pentagon has answered all questions about training and maintenance, the legalities of a transfer, and its effect on U.S. military readiness."
As noted, the Pentagon is currently working on the training program for the Ukrainian military personnel which, according to earlier reports, they should undergo in Germany, with a duration of more than six months. The systems themselves are most likely to be withdrawn from storage, not from service in operational units of the U.S. Army.
“This is going to be the most challenging piece of equipment that Ukraine has received to date. If the Ukrainians had a year or two to absorb the Patriot, that would not be a problem. … My guess is that the Pentagon is very nervous about this," said said Mark F. Cancian, a retired U.S. military officer researching weapons supplies to Ukraine, as quoted by The Washington Post.
On the other hand, we should not forget the Ukrainian military’s unparalleled ability to learn new weapons, even the most sophisticated ones. Ukrainian Air Force specialists had successfully mastered such advanced air defense systems as IRIS-T and NASAMS, these weapons are already showing de-facto 100% effectiveness against russian missile attacks.
Once deployed to Ukraine, Patriot surface-to-air missile systems will become another powerful asset of Ukrainian air defense in medium range (up to 80 km) and help protect critical civilian infrastructure and military facilities from russian missile attacks.