June 28, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. in Talks With Israel Over Transfer of Patriot Air Defense System to Ukraine

June 28, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. in Talks With Israel Over Transfer of Patriot Air Defense System to Ukraine

Latest Developments

The Biden administration is in talks with Israel about transferring its aging U.S.-manufactured Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, The Financial Times reported on June 27. Improving the democratic government in Kyiv’s air defenses is regarded as a priority by U.S. military planners as Russia intensifies its aerial attacks on Ukrainian cities.

According to CNN, “no final agreement has been reached to transfer the crucial systems —and the countries are still working through specific logistics.” It quoted an unnamed administration official saying they were “hopeful the efforts might succeed, especially given the effectiveness of the Patriot batteries already operating in Ukraine.”

Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has frequently prevailed upon Israel to provide assistance with aerial defense, including its Iron Dome system, but Jerusalem — wary of antagonizing Russia, which retains a military presence in neighboring Syria — has so far demurred.

In April, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it would soon retire its Patriot systems, which were first fully integrated into the Israeli military in 1991. Israel’s short-range Iron Dome aerial defense system, as well as its medium-range David’s Sling and long-range Arrow missiles, has lessened its reliance on the Patriot.

Expert Analysis

“Israel’s Patriots would greatly expand Ukraine’s air defense capacity at a time when it is sorely needed. While they are on the older side, these systems — and Israel’s considerable stocks of interceptors — would help Ukraine defend its critical infrastructure and counter Russian jets that are pounding Ukrainian positions and towns with glide bombs. To address the latter threat, Washington should also permit Ukraine to use the Army Attack Missile System (ATACMS) to strike airbases inside Russia.” — John Hardie, Deputy Director, FDD Russia Program

“Kyiv desperately needs additional air and missile defense capacity wherever it can find it, and the United States wants to help. The only thing worse than an old air defense capability is insufficient air defense. Meanwhile, Israel is eager to help the United States in Ukraine but is wary of any steps that might complicate Israel’s vital freedom of action in Syria.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

White House Prioritizes Ukraine for Patriot Missile Deliveries

The White House announced on June 20 that it would reprioritize deliveries of newly manufactured Patriot missiles, diverting new exports to Ukraine from the other countries previously set to receive them. The White House did not say which countries would be affected by the diversions but noted that they would not apply to Israel or Taiwan. On June 11, President Joe Biden approved the deployment of a second Patriot missile system to Ukraine from its current location in Poland, where it has been protecting a rotational force of American troops who will be returning to the United States, U.S. officials said.

“Ukraine’s New Unmanned Systems Forces Takes Shape,” by John Hardie

“Russia Acquires North Korean Missiles, Eyes Iranian Missiles,” FDD Flash Brief

Photos Offer Insights on Russia’s new UMPB D-30SN Glide Bomb,” by John Hardie


Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power Russia Ukraine