ua en ru

Japan sends Patriot missiles to US: How it helps Ukraine

Japan sends Patriot missiles to US: How it helps Ukraine Missiles for Patriot will be delivered to Ukraine
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Japan has lifted its arms export ban and is preparing to ship Patriot air defense missiles to the United States. This will help the Pentagon to continue supplying Ukraine by replacing stocks, according to Reuters.

"This holds significant meaning in terms of further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. It will contribute not only to Japan's security but also the peace and stability of the wider Indo-Pacific region," says Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi.

Although Japan's new export controls still prevent it from supplying weapons to countries at war, they may indirectly benefit Ukraine by giving the United States additional opportunities to provide military assistance to Kyiv.

An anonymous Japanese government official says that the missiles will be used to replenish the arsenal of the US armed forces for security in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Patriot system is one of many modern air defense systems supplied by the West to help Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Japan produces Patriot missiles under license from the American companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

A Japanese government official said that exports are considered after the country where the license holder is located makes an official request, adding that the United States has so far been the only country to make such a request.

Tokyo is also considering exporting 155-mm artillery shells produced under license from BAE Systems to the UK, the Financial Times reported.

Japan's ruling party has been considering various changes to export controls for several months now, as these rules potentially prevent the export of next-generation fighter jets being developed with the UK and Italy.

Patriot for Ukraine

Earlier it was reported that Japan would supply the United States with several dozen Patriot missiles. They are PAC-2 and PAC-3 interceptors. The former is designed to destroy certain types of ballistic missiles by exploding nearby, while the latter are direct-attack munitions that target missiles and aircraft directly and have greater explosive power. The more advanced PAC-3 interceptors cost about $4 million each.

The move comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed concern about his country's defense capabilities during a visit to Washington in December. Only a "handful" of munitions are left to defend Kyiv, and he wants more to protect major cities such as Odesa.

Ukraine uses the Patriot system to shoot down Russian ballistic missiles, including the Kinzhal. It has also had other significant successes: in May, a Patriot air defense unit shot down three enemy helicopters and two airplanes that were in Russian airspace after firing on Ukraine.