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US sends Patriot missile interceptor system to Europe

“The US European Command will deploy the Patriot missile system – piloted by US service members – to Slovakia. The date of their deployment has not yet been determined. We continue to consult the Slovak government on this matter. more permanent air defense solutions”, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

This information comes after Slovakia Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that the country had transferred the Russian-made S-300 air defense system to Ukraine.

The US moves the Patriot missile interceptor system to Europe - 1

Patriot air defense missile system. (Photo: Reuters)

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger stressed that the “donation” of the country’s only S-300 missile defense system to Ukraine does not mean participation in the war against Russia.

On April 8, US President Joe Biden thanked Slovakia for this decision, noting that Washington had sent a replacement Patriot system, “ensure the continued security of Slovakia”.

“I would like to thank the Slovak government for supplying Ukraine with the S-300 air defense system, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky personally pointed out to me,” he said. Mr. Biden said.

Last month, the Patriot air defense missile system, operated by German and Dutch troops, was also deployed at the Sliac airport in central Slovakia to help bolster NATO’s eastern flank defenses. .

The move is part of the operations of a newly formed NATO combat group based in Slovakia. NATO has established four combat groups in Poland and the Baltic states as part of the strategic deployment of forward presence. New battle groups are being deployed to Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

The Patriot air defense missile system can be used to intercept aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and high-speed ballistic missiles at altitudes up to 20km and from a distance of 60km.

To date, the US has shipped tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other military aid to Ukraine. Several European allies have also joined in sending military aid to Kiev. The US now has 102,000 troops in Europe, nearly double the number at the start of this year.

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