Weapons and Kit

Patriot missile system: All you need to know about the US weapon going to Ukraine

The US has announced it is sending Patriot missile interceptor systems to Ukraine as part of a $1.8bn support package.

The weapons will be used by Ukrainian forces to counter the threat of Russian air strikes which in recent months have targeted Ukrainian infrastructure.

In a statement on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "Today's assistance for the first time includes the Patriot Air Defence System, capable of bringing down cruise missiles, short range ballistic missiles, and aircraft at a significantly higher ceiling than previously provided air defence systems."

What is Patriot?

The MIM-104 Patriot system is the weapon that has so far given 18 countries worldwide the power to destroy aerial threats on the battlefield.

Created by the United States, the Patriot system is used to intercept and destroy incoming cruise missiles and aircraft.

Patriot missile systems
Patriot missile systems being delivered by Nato to Slovakia (Picture: Nato).

Standing for the Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target, the Patriot's batteries consist of eight launchers, each with the capacity to fire four missiles.

The system can track 100 threats from 60 miles away and its missiles cost $3 million each.

Despite having a long-range, they are not primarily designed to defend entire cities.

For more details on the Patriot and its capabilities, see the video above.

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