NATO Pledges Historic Air Defense Support for Ukraine

The US-led alliance will provide four new Patriot systems and “dozens” of other interceptors

NATO countries announced that they will give Ukraine five more advanced air defense systems. This comes after Ukraine asked for help in stopping repeated Russian airstrikes. US President Joe Biden announced the “historic donation” at the summit in Washington, DC. This summit brought together NATO leaders to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Western alliance.

According to the agreement signed by several NATO members and Ukraine, the US, Germany, and Romania will each give Ukraine a new Patriot battery. Meanwhile, the Netherlands “and other partners” will provide parts to “enable the operation of an additional Patriot battery.” Italy has promised to deliver a new SAMP-T system. 

“In addition, in the coming months, the United States and partners intend to provide Ukraine with dozens of tactical air defense systems, including NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS, and Gepard systems,” the statement said. 

Overall, Washington pledged to provide Ukraine with “hundreds of additional air defense interceptors over the next year.”

Addressing the attendees of the summit in Washington, Biden said that the US will prioritize Ukraine in terms of weapons deliveries. “The United States will make sure that when we export critical defense interceptors, Ukraine goes to the front of the line. They will get this assistance before anyone else gets it,” the president said.

Biden reaffirmed the commitment to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “Today NATO is stronger than it’s ever been in its history,” he added.

For several months, Kiev has been warning that the number of anti-air systems provided so far isn’t enough to effectively deter Russian airstrikes. In April, Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky told NATO that Ukraine needs at least seven more Patriot batteries or similar weapons. Moscow has reported destroying several Patriot launchers since 2023.

Russia has said that the deliveries of Western weapons will lead to more escalation but will ultimately fail to stop the Russian army in Ukraine.