Pentagon official: US considers sending Ukraine patriot missiles
The Patriot batteries would complement the existing capabilities provided to Kiev and would help counter ballistic missile attacks, defense officials believe.
The United States is considering sending Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine, a senior Defense Department official told reporters on Tuesday.
"All capabilities are on the table," the official said when asked whether the US government has been looking to provide Ukraine with Patriot missiles.
The Patriot batteries would complement the existing capabilities provided to Kiev and would help counter ballistic missile attacks, US defense officials said.
The United States does not see that Ukraine has an immediate need for fighter aircraft, a senior Defense Department official said on Tuesday.
"In terms of fighter aircraft, when we think about that as a future capability area for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to invest in, we have to think about the sustainment and maintenance and training that all goes along with having attack air fleet, and so that's where it really isn't something that is an immediate priority for us as we consider the Ukrainian Armed Forces capability needs," the official said during a conference call.
It is worth noting that White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press release two weeks ago that the United States and its allies will continue supporting Ukraine in terms of air defense supplies in light of the renewed Russian missile strikes on the country.
The US Defense Department had said it provided National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to Ukraine earlier this month, saying they were already operational.
The Biden administration approved another $400 million security assistance package for Ukraine last week that includes missiles for HAWK air defense systems, four Avenger air defense systems, and 192 Stinger missiles.
The United States announced on October 28 a $275 million military assistance package for Ukraine, including HIMARS launchers, ammunition, and 155mm artillery rounds; two NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems) were also to be delivered to Ukrainian soldiers once they complete their training on the systems.
Read: All set: NASAMS delivered and deployed, Ukrainian soldiers trained