Patriot systems to protect Ukraine’s main population centers - Ukraine's CinC advisor Rice

Patriot systems to protect Ukraine’s main population centers - Ukraine's CinC advisor Rice

Patriot air defense systems, to be supplied by the United States to Ukraine, are needed to protect the country’s main population centers.

That’s according to Dan Rice, Special Advisor to Ukraine Army Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, who spoke with CNN, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The Patriot system is a high-altitude long-range anti-aircraft missile. It’s about 4 million dollars a missile so it’s a very expensive system,” Rice explained.

He noted that roughly a hundred soldiers is needed to operate a battery of Patriot systems, which is being provided to Ukraine at this stage, so the U.S. has to train these troops.

Read also: Ukraine needs “much more” weapons, including air defense, aircraft, to counter Russian strikes - advisor to CinC Zaluzhnyi

“I’m hoping we’ve already done in parallel and started training them prior so that we field these systems more quickly,” Rice said.

“The system will most likely be to protect Kyiv. So it’s not going to have an effect on the battlefield. But what it’ll have an effect on is the soldiers in the field whose families are under fire,” Rice stressed, adding that not all incoming Russian missiles targeting civilian infrastructure of Ukrainian cities are being downed.

Asked how many Patriot systems Ukraine might need, the advisor said “eight batteries if they are going to protect their main population centers.”

“But it’s a step in the right direction. Unfortunately we’ve been drip-drip-dripping this war,” said Dan Rice, noting that he would prefer that “we go straight to the large numbers.”

“We have them, we can give them. State Department is concerned with escalation. Very valid claim. But it’s a defensive weapon that is only going to attack inbound aircraft and inbound rockets,” Rice emphasized.

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