​It Took Two Months for Germany to Deliver Patriot Missiles to Poland, Can Those Cover Ukraine If Needed

Patriot PAC 3 surface-to-air missile system / Photo credit: Bundeswehr
Patriot PAC 3 surface-to-air missile system / Photo credit: Bundeswehr

Only today, January 23, Germany will send the first Patriot air defense systems to be deployed near Zamość in Poland

The argument that emerged around German Patriots for Poland, which Warsaw itself proposed to deploy in Ukraine, officially ended on December 6. It was then, after a whole epic, that it was finally decided that Germany would deploy the systems on the territory of Poland. But almost two months have passed and only now, on January 23, Berlin is sending the Patriot to NATO's eastern border.

Although these are just the first two fire units of Patriot, and the third one is yet to come, Handelsblatt reports. We should also consider that it will take some time for the systems to unfold at the new location before they start operating.

Read more: ​Poland Deploys Patriot Missiles Near Ukrainian and belarusian Border: What Area Will the Air Defense Systems Cover

For security reasons, Bundeswehr fighter jets arrived in Poland a few days prior to ensure that the systems will be installed at the designated sites without concern.

The article also mentions the location where the systems will be deployed. In an earlier article, we already assessed which territory will be covered by he Patriots, now we can add some more detail. According to Handelsblatt, the Patriots will arrive in the vicinity of Zamość city, about 60 km from the border with Ukraine.

Taking into account the range of interception of ballistic targets by MSE missiles of 60 km and the range for aerodynamic targets of PAC 2 missiles of 160 km, the protection zone looks approximately like this:

Of course, the German Patriots can be placed closer to the border of Ukraine. In this case, the protection zone may look like this.

It should also be noted that the interception range of aerodynamic targets refers to the maximum capabilities for high-altitude targets. In case of interception of cruise missiles and other low-altitude targets, we should consider the 40-50 km mark, which is due to the radio horizon.

In general, the situation around sending of the Patriot air defense systems by Germany to Poland, or rather the time frame it took for the delivery and associated tasks, may well serve as a reference point to assess real operational capabilities.

As a reminder, multiple countries pledged to provide anti-missile defense capabilities to Ukraine, including Germany, the United States, and the Netherlands who have already committed their Patriot systems alongside associated ammunition and necessary training for Ukrainian operators.

Read more: Soon SAMP-T Air Defense System will be in Ukraine - Italy and France are Completing Preparations for Sending