White House Says It Has No Patriots To Spare For Ukraine Right Now


The Pentagon has pledged additional Patriot munitions as part of a “historic” $6 billion assistance package to Ukraine, but the interceptors could take months or even years to arrive.

“In the meantime, what we’re going to do is work with European partners and partners in other parts of the world to get them to provide additional air defense capability to Ukraine,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said.

According to Sullivan the US is not prepared to risk undermining its own security but is working around the clock to pressure the EU, NATO, and other partners to share their air defense capabilities with Ukraine instead.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demanded “at least seven” Patriot batteries from his Western backers while addressing a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Friday.

RT reports: Kiev’s main sponsor, however, has indicated that it has none to spare.

The US Patriot systems right now are being deployed around the world, including in the Middle East, to protect US troops,” Sullivan told MSNBC later in the day.

“If we can unlock further American Patriot batteries we would send them. But we are doing a lot of the supplying of the actual missiles that go into those batteries that get fired,” the US official insisted.

The Pentagon has pledged additional Patriot munitions as part of a “historic” $6 billion assistance package announced on Friday. However, the interceptors could take months or even years to arrive, as the batch will not come from existing Pentagon stockpiles. Instead, the announcement “represents the beginning of a contracting process” with the US defense industry.

Manufactured by US arms giant Raytheon, a single MIM-104 Patriot battery costs over $1 billion. It consists of multiple truck-mounted units, including power, radar, antenna, engagement control and other support vehicles, as well as up to eight launchers with interceptor missiles.

The US has produced over 1,100 Patriot launchers over the years. It is estimated to have hundreds in active service and in storage, but has only sent a single battery to Ukraine. Germany has donated two more full batteries, while the Netherlands has shared two individual launchers.

“In the meantime, what we’re going to do is work with European partners and partners in other parts of the world to get them to provide additional air defense capability to Ukraine,” Sullivan added.

In addition to Germany and the Netherlands, other European nations that operate Patriot systems include Poland, Spain, Greece, and Romania. While Berlin recently promised to supply yet another Patriot battery to Ukraine, Warsaw said earlier this week that it has no air defense systems to spare.

Spain has stated it can only provide a “small number” of Patriot interceptor missiles from its stocks, but not the actual systems. Greece has also resisted outside pressure, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has insisted no action will be taken “that could even remotely endanger our nation’s deterrent capabilities or air defense.”

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