Germany Offers Patriot System to Poland After Stray Missile Crash

BERLIN—Germany has provided a Patriot missile defense system to Warsaw to help secure airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defense Minister Kristin Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.

The German government has already said it would provide neighbors with further assistance with air security by German Eurofighters after the incident, initially raising concerns that the war in Ukraine could spread beyond its borders. .

Lambrecht told Rheinpost and General Anzeiger that “we provided assistance to Poland in securing its airspace with Eurofighter and Patriot air defense systems.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the missile that hit Poland last week, killing two people, appeared to have been fired by Ukrainian air defense systems, not by a Russian attack.

Ground air defense systems such as Raytheon’s Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, NATO has stepped up air defenses in Eastern Europe. In October, more than a dozen NATO allies, led by Germany, launched an initiative to jointly procure air defense systems against multi-layered threats, including the Patriot.

During the Cold War, when Germany was at the forefront of NATO, Germany had 36 Patriot units. The German army now has 12 Patriot units, of which he has two deployed in Slovakia.