Reports out of Ukraine say one of the US-supplied anti-air batteries, known as “Patriot,” was destroyed in an extensive attack on the Ukrainian city of Kyiv.
This would be the first time a Patriot Anti-aircraft system has been lost in the Ukraine-Russia war. The attack of nine drones and an estimated 18 missiles were launched against Kyiv overnight on May 16.
The news of the precision strike was widely celebrated in Russia because the Ukrainian Army had just received the air defense system from the US in April and was only recently put into use.
Additional reports of six ballistic missiles, including the Russian hypersonic missile Kh-47M2 Kinzhal were also launched in the attack. Still, Ukraine officials say all or most were intercepted before reaching their targets.
Ukraine’s destruction of Russian hypersonic missiles has been met with some skepticism from independent sources. The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed Ukraine’s claim that intercepting and destroying one of their hypersonic missiles was “wishful thinking.”
The attack on Kyiv was extensive, with the most missiles fired in the shortest time. The attack targeted munition storage, weapons, Ukrainian troop positions, and military hardware from the United States and other nations supporting the Ukraine effort.
One source claimed that Ukraine fired 30 Patriot anti-aircraft retaliatory missiles over two minutes. The reported cost of each missile is $5,275,000. Despite this barrage and the cost of $158,250,000, the Russian attack eventually destroyed the battery.
There is a vulnerability to the Patriot Missile System. It uses a complex radar system that can reveal its location to the enemy and make it easier to target. The Ukrainian Army can’t rely on Patriot being the only defense against future missile attacks on their country, as the destruction of this battery demonstrated.
Due to the immense cost of the Patriot system and its possible destruction in Ukraine, the US government is withholding comment on the failure of a system lasting one month in action.
The US quickly confirmed the interception and destruction of a Russian hypersonic missile. This would be the first time such a weapon had been taken out before reaching its target. The Russian government asserts that their hypersonic weapon has yet to be defeated.