The US State Department has approved the potential sale of four Patriot Configuration-3+ modernized fire units to the government of Spain.
With an estimated value of $2.8 billion, the units include 51 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles, 24 M903 launch stations, and four AN/MPQ-65 radar systems.
It also covers the provision of necessary communications equipment, telemetry kits, generators, spare parts, and technical support services.
According to the State Department, the proposed sale will support the national security of its NATO ally amid increasing tensions in Europe.
Washington views Madrid as an important force for political stability and economic progress on the continent.
“The proposed sale of the Patriot missile system will improve Spain’s missile defense capability, increase the defensive capabilities of its military, and support its goal of improving national and territorial defense,” it stated.
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin will serve as the prime contractors should the southern European nation push through with the foreign military sale.
Pressure to Supply Ukraine
Western countries have been pushing the Spanish government to join the so-called “Patriot Coalition” by providing a missile defense battery to Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally conveyed his request for the crucial air defense system to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez during the European Political Community summit in June.
Despite its willingness to send military aid, Madrid has been firm in its decision to not provide its Patriot missile system stationed in Turkey to the war-torn nation.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also signified opposition to the move, saying the battery should not be removed until the contract expires later this year.
Spain has two more Patriot batteries, but they are invested in the country’s national defense.
About the Patriot System
The Patriot missile (short for Phased Array Tracking to Intercept of Target) is a powerful air defense, guided missile system with long-range capability.
Its primary task is to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft.
The missile’s PAC-3 configuration utilizes hit-to-kill technology for improved precision and lethality.
In May, the US confirmed the effectiveness of the Patriot defense system in Ukraine when it reportedly shot down a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile.