Saturday May 25, 2024

Ukraine troops finish training on Patriot in Germany

Published : 03 Dec 2023, 00:51

  DF News Desk
Ukrainian soldiers reload containers for a launcher during a training course on the Patriot air defense system. Photo: Sebastian Christoph Gollnow/dpa.

Germany's army, the Bundeswehr, has trained a second group of Ukrainian soldiers on the Patriot air defence system, reported dpa.

After more than six weeks, the training of around 70 men and women was nearing completion.

The defence of Ukrainian airspace is a central task, said Lieutenant General Andreas Marlow, commander of the multinational "Special Training Command," during a visit to the training site. He pointed out that Russian attacks were specifically directed against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Dpa accompanied Marlow on his visit to the training programme on Friday at an air force base in Germany, which can't be named publicly for security reasons. The training command itself is based in Strausberg near Berlin and manages the work of the EU training mission (EUMAM) for Ukraine, which was launched more than a year ago.

The Bundeswehr and its partners aim to have trained around 10,000 Ukrainians in various tasks by the end of the year.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised Ukraine further arms deliveries and financial support in October. This so-called winter package includes everything needed for air defence. Germany will also supply Ukraine with an additional Patriot system.

Patriot, which stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, is one of the most sophisticated air defence systems in the world. It can be used to combat enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

The defence missiles can hit targets at a distance of around 100 kilometres and at altitudes of up to 30 kilometres, depending on the missile used.

The Ukrainians showed the general and dpa journalists how they work in the control centre in snow-covered terrain and how they prepare the so-called launchers for use.

These are all-terrain trucks on which the missiles are loaded and can be fired. For the training itself, geographical scenarios from Ukraine can be fed into the control centres.

Many of the Ukrainians already have experience with air defence systems such as the S-300 air defence system developed in Soviet times.