Poland’s defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak said Wednesday the Patriot missile defense system that Germany offered Poland should go to Ukraine instead.
“After further missile attacks (from Russia), I turned to (Germany) to have the proposed (Poland) Patriot batteries transferred to (Ukraine) and deployed at the western border,” Blaszczak said on Twitter.
“This will protect (Ukraine) from further victims and blackout and will increase security at our eastern border.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasyl Zvarych, responded by thanking him on Twitter and added: “We need as many modern anti-missile systems as possible to keep the sky above Ukraine safe. Successful defense of (Ukraine) against Russia is a contribution to the security of Poland and the whole of Europe, because Russian terror does not respect borders.”
Germany’s offer to Poland came after a missile hit Polish territory and killed two people near the Ukrainian border on November 15. The leaders of Poland and NATO said that projectile was likely fired by Ukrainian forces defending their country against Russian strikes, and that the incident appeared to be an accident.
A longtime mainstay of US military operations: The Patriot air defense missile system – Patriot stands for “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept of Target” – is designed to counter and destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft and cruise missiles.
The battery includes missiles and launching stations, a radar set that detects and tracks targets, and an engagement control station, according to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.
The Patriot missile system has undergone several improvements and upgrades since it was first deployed in 1982.
Its first combat use was in the Gulf War, which was also the first time that an air defense system destroyed a hostile tactical ballistic missile.
Read more on Patriot missile defense systems here.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this post.