US and Allies Strengthen Ukraine's Air Defense with Additional Patriot Systems

NATO has ordered Stinger anti-aircraft missiles worth approximately $700 million on behalf of several member states

by Sededin Dedovic
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US and Allies Strengthen Ukraine's Air Defense with Additional Patriot Systems
© David Silverman / Getty Images

The United States (USA) will provide Ukraine with a Patriot air defense system in addition to those already promised by Germany, Romania, and the Netherlands, according to a joint statement released for the NATO summit in Washington.

With the SAMP-T system provided by Italy, this support will "help protect Ukrainian cities, civilians, and soldiers" from Russian strikes, the statement said. The text also mentioned that another announcement about sending additional air defense systems to Ukraine is promised "this year." U.S.

President Joe Biden said that Russia does not want to "wipe Ukraine off the map," but expressed confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not succeed in that. He also announced that the USA and its allies will provide Ukraine with additional weapons, including more air defense systems.

NATO leaders gathered this week at a summit in Washington, where the Alliance is marking its 75th anniversary. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is also attending the summit, hopes that the meeting of national leaders from the 32 NATO countries will clarify Ukraine's prospects for membership in the Western military alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute as leaders fr© Bonnie Cash / Getty Images

Ukrainian leadership also hopes to see a commitment to stronger military support as its forces strive to reclaim large parts of the country in the east and south that Russia has illegally annexed.

This summit is the last for Stoltenberg as Secretary-General. Former Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to take office in October. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Kyiv needs not only support but also investments to produce adequate weapons.

Capital and knowledge are coming to Ukraine, but it is a two-way street, as in return, the combat experience of the Ukrainian army strengthens our defense industry, Stoltenberg said. In Washington, where the three-day NATO summit began today, he assessed that the alliance needs to cooperate with partners and that Ukraine is one of those partners.

Stoltenberg stated that NATO is the most successful alliance in history, and one of the reasons for this is that the alliance has always been able to adapt to changes in the world.

U.S.

President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) arrive for a NATO 75th anniversary celebratory event at© Andrew Harnik / Getty Images

The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has ordered Stinger anti-aircraft missiles worth approximately $700 million on behalf of several member states, Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, reports Reuters.

"Just today, NATO's procurement agency NSPA signed a new multinational contract for Stinger missiles worth nearly $700 million," he said at a gathering of defense industry leaders during the alliance's summit in Washington.

The latest contract for Stinger missiles, produced by Raytheon's RTX division, was secured in May 2022 when the U.S. Army ordered air defense missiles worth $625 million to replenish stocks sent to Ukraine.

Production Until 2029

Portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles are critically needed in Ukraine, where they have successfully halted Russian air attacks, and in neighboring European states, which also fear they will need to repel Russian forces.

NATO's order for Stingers will enable the production of these missiles to last until 2029, an RTX spokesperson told Reuters. Russia does not have the capacity to launch a large offensive in Ukraine, says a NATO official. Russia still lacks the ammunition and troops to launch a major offensive in Ukraine, and it is expected that Ukrainian forces will intensify offensive operations when weapons supplies and weather conditions permit, a senior NATO official said today at a press briefing in Washington.

The official said that Russia needs to secure significant quantities of ammunition from other countries, in addition to the stocks it already has, to launch a major offensive in Ukraine, Reuters reported. At the NATO summit in Washington, the 75th anniversary of the Alliance will be marked, and Mark Rutte's appointment as the new Secretary-General of the Alliance will also be confirmed.

It will also be the first time that the summit will be attended by 32 member countries of the Alliance, following the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. The three-day summit will discuss, among other things, strengthening the Alliance's defense capabilities, as well as increasing the contribution of European NATO member states and Canada to the planned investments.

On the agenda is also the confirmation of support for Ukraine, as well as NATO's cooperation with partners such as the EU, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

"NATO Must Not Be a Party to the War"

Emphasizing that Turkey respects and supports the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Turkish President Erdogan said in Washington that they will continue to uphold the principled stance that peace can be achieved peacefully and that NATO should not become a party to the war, reports Anadolu Agency.

"From the first day, we have claimed that in a just peace, there will be no losers. To this end, we have taken responsibility from the beginning to ensure a ceasefire, initiated the Istanbul process to pave the way for lasting peace. Every day that weapons speak, blood flows, and lives are lost shows how correct our stance was," Erdogan said.

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