The U.S. will arm Ukraine with a modern Patriot surface-to-air missile system to protect its cities against strikes from Russia.
The U.S. Department of Defense will provide Ukraine with the truck-mounted Patriot system and additional ammunition for HIMARS, missiles, artillery and other munitions.
“This $1 billion drawdown will provide Ukraine with expanded air defense and precision-strike capabilities, as well as additional munitions and critical equipment that Ukraine is using so effectively to defend itself on the battlefield,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken said the United States is also announcing an additional $850 million of security assistance, bringing the total to an unprecedented $21.9 billion since the beginning of the administration.
The Patriot is a surface-to-air guided missile system that was first deployed in the 1980s and can target aircraft, cruise missiles and shorter-range ballistic missiles.
Each Patriot battery consists of a truck-mounted launching system with eight launchers that can hold up to four missile interceptors each, a ground radar, a control station and a generator.
According to Patriot manufacturer Raytheon Missiles and Defense, more than 240 Patriot fire units have been built and delivered to customers in 17 nations. Raytheon says since it was first fielded, the Patriot has been used by five nations in more than 250 combat engagements against manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles. Since January 2015, it has intercepted more than 150 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world.