The Ukrainian President Selenskyj was just visiting the front in Bakhmut, a few hours later he was already on his way to Washington. From there he wants to take the Patriot air defense system with him. Meanwhile, Russian dictator Putin is threatening to use the new Zirkon hypersonic missile and the Sarmat intercontinental missile.
According to Vladimir Putin, Russia wants to further expand the potential of its military. “The armed forces and the combat capabilities of our armed forces are constantly increasing every day,” the Kremlin ruler said at a televised meeting on Wednesday. “Of course we will continue this process.” The “combat readiness” of the nuclear forces should also be improved.
Despite delays, Russia wants to have its new Sarmat-type ICBM, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, soon ready for use. “Everything is being implemented,” Putin said, while admitting that there are “deviations from the schedules.” The missiles (NATO code name: SS-X-30 Satan 2) were originally supposed to be stationed with the armed forces in the fall. The plans would be fulfilled in any case, stressed Putin.
The missile has a range of 18,000 kilometers and can be equipped with several nuclear warheads. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that 22 launch pads for ICBMs, including the Sarmat, Avantgarde and Jars types, should be put into operation next year.
At the beginning of January, the Russian Navy’s frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” will also have the new hypersonic missile Zirkon, said Putin at the meeting with high-ranking officers in Moscow. According to him, the anti-ship missile is unparalleled anywhere in the world. It belongs to a new group of weapons that Moscow has been developing in recent years.
Hypersonic means at least 5 times the speed of sound, i.e. 6175 km/h upwards. According to Putin, the Zirkon should even reach a speed of Mach 9, which is 9 times the speed of sound. The range should be 1000 kilometers.
Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is in the US capital Washington D.C. expected. The meeting with President Joe Biden is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon (local time). Then Selenskyj wants to give a speech before the US Congress. It was Zelensky’s first trip abroad since the Russian war of aggression began on February 24.
According to US information, Biden wants to announce, among other things, that his country will deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), this would make it the 19th country to have or plan to use this system.
Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target) is one of the most modern air defense systems in the world. Enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles are fought with it. At a distance of around 100 kilometers and up to an altitude of 30 kilometers, the defense missiles can hit targets in an imaginary bell around the position – depending on the guided missile used.
The mobile launch station is reminiscent of large trucks and contains up to four launch containers. According to US military information, up to 16 defense missiles can be loaded in total, depending on the configuration. According to the US think tank CSIS, an anti-missile of the widely used Pac-3 version costs around four million dollars each.
With a radar, the Patriot system first classifies flying objects in the sky into the categories friend and foe. In the event of a threat, soldiers in the control center fire the guided missiles to render the attackers’ objects harmless. Up to 50 possible targets can be monitored at the same time, actively fighting up to five.
The Bundeswehr has had the system since 1989. A few years earlier, the first Patriot units were commissioned by the US Army. Since then the system has been further developed. The anti-aircraft defense was used for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991.
According to the US television station “CNN”, the Ukrainian soldiers are to be trained on the system at the US military base in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria.