The Netherlands has confirmed it intents to supply the Patriot missile defence system to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their fight against the Russian invasion. The United States government initiative to equip Ukrainian forces with the Patriot system was also joined by Germany earlier this month. The announcement comes after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s recent visit with U.S. President Joe Biden. During the bilateral meeting, Mark Rutte revealed that the Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target (PATRIOT) system will be delivered by the Netherlands as part of the US’ military aid package announced in December 2022.
Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in the United States since this week to work with Patriot surface-to-air missile system. This happens because the Americans have already reported that they will give Patriot capability to Ukraine. Ukraine has been asking the world for this weapon system for some time. This is necessary to protect critical infrastructure against Russian missiles and drones. Germany has also promised Patriot capacity. Besides the United States and Germany, the Netherlands is the only country that can supply Patriot capacity that meets the necessary standard.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied states. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target”, which is a backronym for “Patriot”. Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot’s primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.
The Netherlands has 4 Patriot systems, each with its own radar, fire control center and multiple launchers. There are currently 3 systems operational, the fourth one serves as a reserve. One of the measures from the Defense Memorandum of 2022 is to also put this fourth system into operation. Royal Netherlands Army 802 Patriot Squadron is responsible for the deployment of the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system. The squadron consists of a staff and five flights: a logistic flight, a command and control flight, and three Patriot flights each consisting of a complete fire unit.