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US signs new $4.5bn Patriot Missile contract

Lockheed Martin will produce over 800 missiles and associated hardware under the deal

US defense industry giant Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been awarded a contract worth $4.5 billion for Patriot Missiles systems, the Pentagon announced on Friday. The multiyear deal covers 870 PAC-3 MSE missiles and associated hardware.

The decision to extend production is aimed at boosting the country’s ability to support its own military forces, as well as those of its allies abroad, including Ukraine, the statement said.

Kiev reportedly operates at least four Patriot systems, provided by the US and Germany. In May, the Netherlands launched a joint initiative to deliver one more air defense battery, urging other nations to donate separate constituent parts. Spain, Greece, Romania and Poland have Patriots at their disposal but have so far refused to donate them to Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the Russian Defense Ministry released video footage of one of Ukraine’s Patriot batteries being destroyed. At the same time, sources close to the situation at the front told TASS that three US Patriot anti-aircraft missile system launchers had been destroyed by a tactical missile strike in the Donetsk People’s Republic

In April, Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky demanded 25 Patriot units to cover the country’s needs in the military conflict with Moscow.

READ MORE: US in talks to send Israeli air-defense systems to Ukraine – FT

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that military supplies to Ukraine from the US and others will not prevent Russia from achieving its goals, but only prolong the conflict. Moscow has stressed that the deliveries of arms, sharing of intelligence, and training of Ukrainian soldiers means that Western nations are directly involved in the conflict.

Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that the US defense sector was enjoying a munitions “boomlet”  due to massive aid packages for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan but that sustained growth in the sector is not guaranteed.

June 29, 2024 at 03:58PM

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