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White Elephant: Poland Signs Deal to Buy 'Aging' Patriot Missile Systems

© AP Photo / Marek LisSoldiers watch a US Patriot missile being unloaded in a Polish Army military unit in Morag, northern Poland
Soldiers watch a US Patriot missile being unloaded in a Polish Army military unit in Morag, northern Poland - Sputnik International
The Patriot missile defense system that the US has agreed in principle to deliver to Poland over the next few years is clearly inferior to Russia's S-400 missile system, military expert Victor Murakhovsky said.

U.S. troops from 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment are seen at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on Saturday, March 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
Patriots for Poland: Why US SAMs Can't Survive a Russian Iskander Missile Strike
In the course of US President Donald Trump's visit to Poland, the Polish Defense Ministry and the United States signed a memorandum on the delivery of US Patriot missile systems to Poland.

According to the terms of the agreement, Poland will receive eight batteries that will cost $7.5 billion and are slated for delivery from the US by 2022. The Patriot systems will reach "operation readiness" by 2023, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on Thursday.

Manufactured by Raytheon, the Patriot missile defense system consists of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of missiles, which can detect and destroy cruise missiles tactical ballistic missiles and aircraft at long-range and high to medium altitude.

Macierewicz specified that the systems would be equipped with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), a command-and-control system developed to deliver a better view of the battlespace.

The rockets are necessary "because of the enemy facing us, because of the Iskander missiles that threaten Poland and which must be effectively fought by Patriot missiles," Macierewicz said.

© RIA NovostiPatriot air defense system
Patriot air defense system - Sputnik International
Patriot air defense system

Editor-in-chief of the "National Defense" magazine Igor Korotchenko said that unlike NATO's construction of an Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system in Poland, the new Patriot batteries won't make a difference to the security situation in Eastern Europe.

"The Patriot system does not pose a threat, just as the Russian S-400 systems in the Kaliningrad region do not pose a threat to neighboring countries," Korotchenko said.

A US soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland. File photo - Sputnik International
US' Patriot Missile Systems to Be Obsolete by the Time They Arrive in Poland
Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the "Arsenal of the Fatherland" magazine, told RIA Novosti that in fact, Patriot, which first entered service with the US military in 1981, is an "ageing" system that doesn't bear comparison with Russia's S-400 missile system.

"This system does not represent a threat to Russia. You have to remember that despite its gradual modernization it has a number of shortcomings. Secondly, after all it is a defensive type of system and is not capable of using any type of attack missiles. If you compare it with Russia's S-400 air defense system, the Patriot is inferior in a range of parameters, in particular with regard to its mobility and ability to combat high-precision ballistic missiles," Murakhovsky said.

© SputnikRussian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System
Russian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System - Sputnik International
Russian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System
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