Why is Putin terrified of US Patriot missiles in Ukraine?
Russia is making new threats as another consignment of US weaponry to Ukraine is readied, bragging of "dire repercussions" and threatening to bring the US directly into the conflict. This time, though, something is different. Putin is concerned, and many believe this new weapon has the potential to transform the game. Hop on this amazing new narrative about the Patriot missile system, which has Putin in a tizzy!
Russia is making new threats as another consignment of US weaponry to Ukraine is readied, bragging of "dire repercussions" and threatening to bring the US directly into the conflict. This time, though, something is different. Putin is concerned, and many believe this new weapon has the potential to transform the game. Hop on this amazing new narrative about the Patriot missile system, which has Putin in a tizzy! 😡😤⚒
- As another US weapons shipment to Ukraine is being prepared, Russia is once again making serious threats, boasting of terrible consequences, and threatening to directly involve the US in the conflict. However, this time is distinct in some way. Putin appears frightened, and analysts believe that this new weapon could completely alter the situation. Why are US Patriot missiles the most significant weaponry currently deployed in Ukraine in the Russia-Ukraine War? The Patriot Missile, also known as the MIM-104 Patriot, is a surface-to-air missile system that has quickly stood out from the competition. The main missile system for the United States and its allies was created by the defense contractor Raytheon and has been in use since its initial iteration in 1981.
- It has more to offer than just a catchy name because its name, Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target, is an acronym. Although its missiles pack a punch, its radar system is really what makes it dangerous. It debuted successfully as well. Its initial goal was to gain a competitive edge in a war that most people hoped would never happen. In response to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the majority of the world united in opposition, sparking the Gulf War. As Saddam bombarded his adversaries with deadly Scud missiles, the Patriot system launched its own missile barrage, reportedly neutralizing forty Scuds. A resounding success, indeed. Everyone soon had a desire for one.
- Furthermore, the US was glad to comply. Many of the United States' allies currently have Patriot missile systems. This includes Israel's Middle Eastern allies, which it has used successfully in the ongoing conflict with Hamas, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The missiles have been installed in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, most likely in anticipation of a potential Chinese attack. And in Europe, the system has been installed in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Romania, and the Netherlands. But then a deal that changed everything happened. Vladimir Putin's army was entering Ukraine in the early months of 2022. Many were concerned that he wouldn't stop there because, after all, he had previously stated that NATO was not permitted to be on Russia's borders, and, should he annex Ukraine, this would put several nations, including Poland, in his sights.
- By announcing on March 9 that it would be deploying two Patriot missile systems to Poland to thwart any potential invasion, the US wanted to make a statement. Although it wasn't stated explicitly, everyone understood that it was a warning to Russia, one that could have escalated into a serious threat if Putin did conquer Ukraine. Naturally, as we are all aware, things ended up being very different. And Ukraine questioned, "Why can't we join the party?" President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hasn't been shy about asking for more help, to the point where he's gotten into shouting matches with other world leaders who think he's asking for too much. And one of his main objectives has been to obtain the Patriot Missile System, which would make it simpler to accurately intercept Russian missiles.
- Russia's attempts to invade and occupy Ukraine have largely failed as a result of the Russian army being driven out of numerous cities. This could change the course of the war. Since the Russian Air Force isn't equipped for precise missions, Putin's main strategy has been to bombard cities, effectively destroying Mariupol and continuing to bombard the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Therefore, neutralizing this strategy might completely alter the situation. Ukraine has also asked Israel for an Iron Dome missile defense system, making this the second missile system they have requested from them. Israel resisted, probably under pressure from Russia, which has troops stationed along its border with Syria, a country with close ties to Russia.
- Israel argues that the Iron Dome wouldn't be able to defend Ukraine from Russian missiles, though. The system's interceptor missiles aren't prepared to take on high-altitude Russian missiles; instead, they're made to thwart low-altitude Hamas rockets, which frequently arrive in large numbers. However, while that request was declined, the following one was granted. After months of requests, Washington decided to grant Ukraine's request for a Patriot system in early December. This could finally give Ukraine the firepower it needs to thwart Russian attacks on civilian targets and defense infrastructure. While this greatly strengthens Ukraine's defenses, it also sends a message to Putin that NATO forces are not intimidated by him and will fortify Ukraine and provide it with the means to defend itself.
- Since Ukraine has made such significant recent progress, people's perceptions of the conflict have changed significantly. Now, it appears that Ukraine may actually win the war and retake all of its former territory, or even the Crimean peninsula. People want to be on the winning team, so that follows. But utilizing these new weapons will not be simple for Ukraine. A crew of up to 90 trained soldiers is typically needed to operate the Patriot, which is a complex system. It takes more than two months to complete the training necessary to operate this system, which is a lot to ask in the midst of a conflict. However, it can function in a pinch with a minimal staff, and NATO has previously expressed its admiration for how quickly Ukraine mastered any weapons given to them.
- And if it succeeds, it might change the game by eliminating one of Putin's biggest threats to Ukraine. As a matter of fact, winter is already here. As part of his strategy to undermine Ukraine's resolve, Putin has targeted the country's energy infrastructure ever since his army was driven from Kyiv and later even expelled from many eastern regions. Many areas of Ukraine are now in the dark, and heating supplies have been cut off, thanks to the repeated bombings of power plants and even nuclear plants. For Ukrainian civilians, life is becoming dangerous as the temperature drops well below freezing, in addition to being uncomfortable.
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