The US is reportedly running out of air defense systems. Photo/Illustration
WASHINGTON – The increasingly hostile environment in the Middle East has prompted the United States (US) to deploy six additional batteries of MIM-104 Patriot missile systems, thereby doubling the total number in the region. So the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
“The Pentagon is now running out of equipment,” added the newspaper as quoted by RT, Tuesday (14/11/2023).
The reported relocation comes amid a series of missile and drone attacks on American military bases in Iraq and Syria, which Washington has linked to Iranian proxy forces.
The additional batteries were sent to Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which host dozens of US military installations, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the deployment and a Pentagon recruitment ad for Patriot operators.
One of the more obvious consequences of the growing demand for long-range air defense systems, as identified by the WSJ, is Washington’s decision not to send Patriot batteries to the Dubai Airshow, which starts on Monday.
The Pentagon planned to display all three main elements of the system, including the launcher, radar truck and command station, but announced the hardware switch in late October.
Patriot batteries typically have eight launchers, although up to 16 launchers can be linked to the same radar and command station. The Pentagon has a total of 60 batteries, according to the WSJ, some of which are deployed internationally, from Germany to Guam and South Korea. Washington has allowed some of its allies to purchase the systems.
Two Patriot batteries, one provided by the US and another by Germany and the Netherlands, were deployed in Ukraine earlier this year, with additional deliveries promised by Berlin. The capabilities of the US-designed system were the subject of conflicting claims by Ukraine and Russia in May.