Ukrainian Troops To Get Patriot Missile Training In Oklahoma
- Canada's Defense Minister, Anita Anand, said on Twitter that this is the first time Canada has given an air defence system to Ukraine.
- Patriot systems are thought to be the most advanced air defence system in the world, and a single battery costs more than $1bn.
The Pentagon has confirmed that 90 to 100 soldiers from Ukraine will arrive at Fort Sill as soon as next week.
US artillery troops also train at Fort Sill. The training is expected to take several months.
Ukraine says that the advanced missile defence system will change the way the war with Russia is fought.
“Once deployed, the Patriot… will add to Ukraine’s air defences and give the Ukrainian people another way to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial attacks,” a Pentagon spokesman told reporters on Tuesday.
Last month, when the president of Ukraine, Volodymr Zelensky, went to Washington, President Joe Biden said that the US would give Ukraine a Patriot missile battery.
In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin laughed at the Patriot system and said that Russia’s military would “knock down” its defences.
Patriot missiles are a surface-to-air system that can shoot down cruise missiles and other fast flying targets.
Most of the time, it takes 90 soldiers a year to train to work on a battery.
The training for Ukraine’s troops will be sped up, but it will still take several months to finish. The training will take place in both a classroom and a simulation lab.
Germany said last week that it would also give Ukraine a Patriot system. Berlin also said it would send armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine, and France said it would send light tanks.
When President Biden made the Patriot announcement, he was in Mexico City for a meeting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
Also on Tuesday, Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, said that his country would buy a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (Nasams) made in the US for Ukraine.
Canada’s Defense Minister, Anita Anand, said on Twitter that this is the first time Canada has given an air defence system to Ukraine.
The short and medium range surface-to-air defence system will cost Canada C$406m ($300m; £250m). This is on top of the C$500m that Canada promised Ukraine in November.
Patriot systems are thought to be the most advanced air defence system in the world, and a single battery costs more than $1bn. The Russian military has said that they will be a top priority.