Patriot ineffective against Russian cruise missiles, drones: Kirby
Kirby asserts that the systems are ineffective against both Russian missiles and drones, as Ukrainian inexperience contributes further to that.
In a surprising announcement, US National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby stated on Thursday that Patriot systems sent to Ukraine won't be a match in efficiency in the face of Russian cruise missiles and drones.
"The Patriot missile system is really designed to go after ballistic missiles. It is not as effective on cruise missiles, and it certainly cannot be effective against drones," Kirby stated to CNN, adding that possibilities to fend off hypersonic missiles are "limited."
Kirby described fighting hypersonic missiles as "very, very difficult" but also did not hesitate to add that it would not "surprise" him if "Ukrainian air defenses are limited in their ability to go after hypersonic missiles."
According to Kirby, however, Ukrainian forces have done a "remarkable job" with their air defense strategies.
US is getting its hands dirty
In January, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said the Pentagon's decision to train Ukrainian personnel to operate and maintain Patriot missile defense systems at the US Army post in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, is proof of Washington’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
"The decision by the US Department of Defense to organize training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma is another confirmation of Washington's de facto involvement in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Nazi criminals from Kiev," the Russian diplomatic mission’s press service cited him as saying.
This comes after the Department of Defense sought to ink an agreement with tech giant Raytheon Technologies to support the Pentagon with technical assistance on the Patriot air defense system that will be delivered to Ukraine's armed forces.
On December 21, 2022, the US announced a $1.85 billion in military assistance package for Ukraine, with the assistance consisting of a Patriot air defense system.