(CNN) Made in USA Patriot Air Defense System A Russian missile attack in and around Kyiv early Tuesday morning local time may have resulted in damage, but not destruction, a US official told CNN.
The US is still assessing the extent of damage to the system, the official said. This will determine whether the system should be completely withdrawn or repaired in situ by Ukrainian forces.
“A high-precision attack by the Kinzel hypersonic missile system in Kyiv hit the US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a post on Telegram on Tuesday.
A US National Security Council spokesman referred CNN to the Ukrainian government for comment.
Ukrainian officials on Tuesday said they had successfully intercepted all six hypersonic missiles fired by the Russians, but the Ukrainian military declined to comment on the Russians’ claim that the Patriot system had been hit. “We cannot comment on this. We refrain from commenting on Russian sources,” Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said.
Ukraine currently has two indigenous air defense systems, one donated by the United States and the other jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. It is unclear which of those systems might be compromised.
Russia has previously targeted Patriot systems with hypersonic missiles, US officials told CNN last week, including once on May 4. That attack failed, and the Ukrainians successfully intercepted the missile before it hit the Patriot, officials said.
After extensive lobbying by the Ukrainians to provide them with a state-of-the-art air defense system, the U.S. He trained Ukrainian troops for 10 weeks About how to maintain and operate it. American and Western officials were pleasantly surprised by how quickly Ukrainians learned to maneuver the patriots who arrived in Ukraine last month.
Another U.S. official said the missile may have hit one of several parts of the Patriot battery. A complete Patriot battery consists of six main components: generators, a radar set, a control station, antennas, a launcher station, and interceptor missiles. The components work together to launch the Patriot missile and successfully guide it to its target.
But if there is extensive damage to one or more components, Ukraine will take the system offline and out of the country to carry out extensive repairs.
The Patriot has a powerful radar to detect incoming targets at long range, making it a powerful air defense platform capable of intercepting ballistic missiles and more. But the radar emission needed to detect distant threats makes it possible for an enemy to detect and locate a Patriot battery.
U.S. officials believe the Russian military was able to pick up signals emanating from the Patriot by targeting the system using a hypersonic missile called the Kinzhal, or Killjoy. Unlike some of the short-range air defenses supplied to Ukraine, which are mobile and difficult to target, the large Patriot battery is a large and stable system that makes it possible for Russian forces to zero in on space over time.
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