Washington (Agencies): The United States has deployed an additional six batteries of the MIM-104 Patriot missile system in response to an increasingly hostile environment in the Middle East, doubling the total number in the region, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. However, the newspaper notes that the Pentagon is now running low on this critical air-defense equipment.
The reported relocation comes in the wake of a series of missile and drone attacks on American military bases in Iraq and Syria, attributed to Iranian proxy forces by Washington. The supplementary Patriot batteries were sent to Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, which host numerous U.S. military installations, according to sources cited by the WSJ, including information from Pentagon recruitment advertisements for Patriot operators.
As a visible consequence of the heightened demand for long-range air-defense systems, the WSJ highlights the decision by Washington not to send a Patriot battery to the Dubai Airshow, which commenced on Monday. Initially planning to showcase all three principal elements of the system, including the launcher, radar truck, and command station, the Pentagon redirected the hardware in late October.
A standard Patriot battery typically consists of eight launchers, with the capability to link up to 16 with the same radar and command station. The WSJ reports that the Pentagon has a total of 60 batteries, some deployed worldwide, from Germany to Guam and South Korea. The U.S. has also authorized certain allies to purchase the Patriot system.
Earlier this year, two Patriot batteries, one from the U.S. and another from Germany and the Netherlands, were deployed in Ukraine, with promises of additional deliveries from Berlin. In May, conflicting claims arose regarding the system’s effectiveness, with Ukraine asserting successful interceptions of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles over Kiev. Moscow disputed these claims, citing inconsistencies in the reported intercepts and the number of Kinzhals deployed by Russian forces.
During the same month, reports emerged of significant damage to one of the Patriot batteries following a failed attempt to stop an incoming strike with 32 interceptors. U.S. officials downplayed the damage, describing it as “minor” and indicating that Ukraine could handle the repairs independently.