The first batch of surface-to-air Patriot missile systems to be deployed in Poland by the German army has arrived in the country, the Bundeswehr announced on Wednesday.
Along with a squadron of 350 soldiers, the units will help strengthen Poland’s air defense, and improve the security of NATO’s Eastern flank.
The missile systems will eventually be stationed in the eastern Polish city of Zamość.
According to the German army, the systems comprise of more than ten elements, including radars, guiding units and launchers, which can hold between four and 16 missiles each.
The Patriot missile systems will “increase German contribution in solidarity with NATO allies in Eastern Europe,” the German army said on its website. “The German army will utilize the Patriot systems to strengthen integrated NATO air-defense in the Eastern Flank of the Alliance.”
The German military is initially sending 350 troops along with the weaponry, however this could be increased to up to 650 soldiers if required.
“The duration of the mission is closely coordinated with our allied partner Poland,” said the Bundeswehr, adding the mission status does include the elements of force deployment that would require an approval of the Bundestag.
Germany offered to strengthen Poland’s air defense capabilities after a stray missile, likely fired by Ukraine’s defense forces, exploded near a Polish village in November, killing two men.