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Germany offers Poland missile defence system after stray missile crash


After a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Germany offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defence system to help secure its airspace, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.

After the incident, which at first raised concerns that the conflict in Ukraine could cross the border, the German government had already declared that it would provide its neighbour with additional assistance in air policing using German Eurofighters.

“We have offered Poland support in securing airspace – with our Eurofighters and with Patriot air defence systems,” Lambrecht told the Rheinische Post and General Anzeiger.

According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the missile that struck Poland last week and killed two people appeared to have been fired by Ukraine’s air defences rather than a Russian attack.

To stop approaching missiles, ground-based air defence systems like Raytheon’s Patriot are designed.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, NATO has taken action to bolster air defences in eastern Europe. In October, a project to jointly purchase air defence systems for various layers of threats, including Patriot, was launched by more than a dozen NATO allies under the leadership of Germany.

When NATO’s frontline state during the Cold War was Germany, it had 36 Patriot units. Two of the 12 Patriot units that the German military currently possesses are stationed in Slovakia.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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