Patriot systems: escalation or Ukraine’s right to defense?


The supply of American Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine is a crazy step that will lead to an escalation of the conflict. This, to put it mildly, an ambiguous statement was made by the ex-adviser of the US Defense Minister Douglas Macgregor in an interview on the popular YouTube channel Redacted.

Douglas Macgregor, retired U.S. Army colonel and government official

If you look at the content of this channel, it becomes obvious that it spreads Russian propaganda clichés and works against Ukraine. We put it in parentheses and analyze the words of an American military expert more carefully.


Expert opinion or a game on the field of Russian propaganda?

Macgregor notes that the Russians are not currently conducting active offensive operations because they do not need to. They wait for the moment and gather strength.

Do you remember words of Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7, 2022: «We haven’t started anything serious yet (in Ukraine — ed.)»? After that, there was a shameful escape from Kharkiv Oblast and withdrawal from the only regional center — the city of Kherson, which was managed to be taken during the entire period of the war.

But back to Macgregor . According to the expert, the Russians are waiting for the ground to freeze and the integration of all reservists into the army: «As soon as the commander of the operation is sure that everything is fine, he will move on to the implementation of his plans.»

The city of Bakhmut was almost 60% destroyed by the Russian army. Source:

Next, the ex-adviser of the US Defense Minister shares his thoughts on the fate of Bakhmut and voices the unknown source of the figures of Ukrainian losses: «Ukrainians are trying to hold an important logistical hub — Bakhmut. It is the center of railway and transport highways. But they lose it. And they lose thousands of soldiers. Russians, on the other hand, get by with little blood. The ratio between Russia and Ukraine is about 1 to 8 or 1 to 10”.

The expert also talks about the poor training of the Ukrainian military, necessarily, as Russian propaganda requires, mentions the thousands of foreign mercenaries in the Armed Forces and concludes that any resistance near Bakhmut is pointless, the Russians will still take the city, and the Ukrainians will lose a large number of people.

The city of Bakhmut was almost 60% destroyed by the Russian army. Source:

And as a conclusion from all of the above, we actually go to the main issue — the issue of the delivery of Patriot anti-missile systems, which are extremely important for Ukraine: «That’s why I’m talking about Patriot missiles. I’m starting to think it’s a gesture. This is so that in the spring the American and European leaders can say: «We did everything we could, we sent them everything we had, but nothing worked.» This is madness. It had no chance of success from the start. They lie to everyone about everything.»


Why is Russia afraid of providing Ukraine with the Patriot missile defense system?

A respected expert contradicts himself, talking about the lack of offensive actions, and at the same time says that the Russians are storming Bakhmut. It just doesn’t say how long they can’t take it.

The city of Bakhmut was almost 60% destroyed by the Russian army, but it did not surrender. Source:

Regarding the losses of the parties and the level of training, we have already told.

The most important and most likely reason for this interview is the non-provision of Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine «to avoid escalation.»

First, Macgregor says that the armed forces of the Russian Federation will go on the offensive as soon as they are ready. What kind of escalation avoidance can we be talking about? Secondly, Ukraine needs the Patriot anti-missile defense system exclusively to protect, in particular, the energy infrastructure, which is constantly being shelled by the aggressor country. Obviously, these systems cannot be used to attack Russia.

Why is Russia so opposed to providing them to Ukraine, using, among other things, media pressure on Western countries, primarily on the USA?

On the one hand, the issue is purely military — we will receive an effective system of protection against strikes by ballistic missiles, which are currently the biggest problems with shooting down. On the other hand, it is a big step forward in terms of integration into the pan-European security system, says Ukrainian military expert Dmytro Snegiryov.

«The Patriot system works in NATO countries with a link to AWACS — early warning systems. Accordingly, if we talk about the transfer of the Patriot anti-missile defense system to Ukraine, we are talking about the integration of the Ukrainian missile defense system into the European one, i.e. NATO countries. The Russian Federation is very afraid of this. These are the red lines regarding the expansion of the NATO bloc, which the Russian Federation declared. Regardless of whether Ukraine is a member of NATO, there is talk of creating a pan-European «umbrella».

«The stories that the Patriot systems can be upgraded for ground-to-ground strikes, drawing analogies with the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, which has a range of up to 200 km… This is an exclusively Russian fantasy version,» — Snegiriov emphasizes.


Technical characteristics of the Patriot system

The main advantages of this complex are the high speed of bringing it into combat readiness, the ability to fire from several targets at the same time, high maneuverability and resistance to obstacles. One battery of the Patriot system can be deployed in less than an hour. All parts of the complex — radar installation, control post, antenna group, electric power installation, and launchers — move on trucks or trailers. One Patriot battery can hold 8 launchers. One Patriot PAC-3 launcher is designed for 4 MIM-104 missiles of various types, GEM-T (Advanced Guided Missiles) or 16 ERINT (Extended Range Interceptor Missiles).

Main characteristics of MIM-104 Patriot missiles:

  • the maximum target interception range is 80 km;
  • the minimum target interception range is 3 km;
  • the maximum target interception height is 24 km;
  • the minimum target interception height is 0.06 km;
  • the number of targets that can be fired at the same time is 8 (in the 90° sector);
  • the mass of the rocket is 912 kg.
  • Air defense Patriot RAS-3

The Patriot and interceptor systems deployed in parallel have been optimized to protect against tactical ballistic missiles. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the latest Patriot system can hit ballistic missiles at an altitude of 20 km. MIM-109 missiles are the basis.

Patriot launcher. A combination of different types of weapons on one launcher

Another feature of the latest modification of the Patriot is the hitting of the interceptor missile directly at the target, instead of detonating next to it.

Main characteristics of MIM-109 missiles for Patriot:

  • the maximum target tracking range is 180 km.
  • the maximum target interception range is 80 km.
  • the maximum target interception height is 20 km.
  • the maximum speed of the target is 2200 m/s.
  • the diameter of the missile is 254 mm.
  • the length of the missile is 5010 mm.
  • mass of the rocket – 318 kg.


Kostyantyn Grechany

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