Germany has offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defense system to help it secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed into Poland last week, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.
The German government had already said it would provide further assistance to its neighbor after the incident with air policing using German Eurofighters, prompting initial fears that war in Ukraine could seep across the border.
“We have offered Poland support in securing the airspace – with our Eurofighters and with Patriot air defense systems,” Lambrecht told the Rheinische Post and General Anzeiger.
The missile that hit Poland last week, killing two people, appeared to have been fired by Ukrainian air defenses rather than a Russian strike, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
Ground-based air defense systems, such as Raytheon’s Patriot, are built to intercept incoming missiles.
NATO has begun strengthening air defenses in Eastern Europe since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. More than a dozen NATO allies led by Germany took the initiative in October to jointly procure air defense systems for various threat tiers, including Patriot.
Germany had 36 Patriot units when it was NATO’s front line during the Cold War. German forces currently have 12 Patriot units, two of which are deployed to Slovakia.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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