U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Friday that the U.S. will deliver a Patriot missile system to Slovakia, as a token of thanks after Slovakia donated a Soviet era a-300 air defence system to Ukraine.
President Joe Biden stated that “to enable this transfer and ensure the continued security of Slovakia, the United States will reposition a U.S. Patriot missile system to Slovakia.”
In a press release U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin announced that the U.S. European Command will reposition the system, which can shoot down incoming missiles and will be manned by U.S. troops. The Patriot missile system along with its necessary crew are expected to be delivered to Slovakia within the coming days, and at this stage the length of their deployment is unknown.
Austin also stated that “this deployment of Patriot capabilities to Slovakia aligns perfectly with our previous efforts to bolster NATO’s defensive capabilities and to demonstrate our collective security requirements under Article 5 of the NATO treaty.”
He added that the modernised system “complements the NATO multinational battlegroup in eastern Slovakia, which includes air defense elements from Germany and the Netherlands.”
Only hours after Slovakia’s Prime Minister Edward Heger announced the transfer of their S-300 air defence system to Ukraine, Austin announced a replacement would be delivered.
Heger tweeted about the transfer :
Biden praised Heger for providing Ukraine with the S-300 system, after Ukraine’s president had “personally raised” the issue of air defence system during conversations with the U.S. President. Biden released a press statement in which he states that sending the Patriot missile system will “enable this transfer and ensure the continued security of Slovakia.”
Earlier this week the Pentagon announced an additional $100 million in security assistance “to meet an urgent Ukrainian need for additional Javelin anti-armor systems.” This comes as the sixth instalment of equipment from the U.S. Defence Department to the Ukrainian government since last August.
U.S. Department of Defence tweeted :
On Thursday the Pentagon detailed its current commitment to Ukraine’s security, including more than 1400 Stinger anti aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti armour systems, 7,000 other anti armour systems and hundreds of swtichblade tactical UAVs.