NATO countries order 1,000 Patriot missiles and expand production in Europe

Patriot air defense system of German army. Photo credits: Germany Defense Ministry.

On behalf of a coalition of several European countries, the NATO Procurement Agency (NSPA) has signed a contract to manufacture a thousand Patriot missiles in Europe, expanding production capacity in Germany.

The contract will expand the European production of the Patriot missiles, enhancing supply and ensuring the replenishment of NATO countries’ stockpiles, Reuters reported. This decision comes amid a new wave of deadly Russian airstrikes against Ukrainian cities.

The program involves Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain.

The contract provides for the purchase of up to 1,000 GEM-T missiles (Guidance Enhanced Missiles) for the Patriot air defense system.

The NATO Procurement Agency awarded a $5.5 billion production and delivery contract for the weapons to COMLOG, a joint venture between MBDA Germany and the US company RTX (formerly known as Raytheon Technologies). To fulfill the contract, COMLOG will expand its production facilities in Europe, as reported on the NATO website.

The production will be located in southern Germany, where it is already servicing Patriot missiles.

“This investment shows the strength of transatlantic defense cooperation and NATO’s commitment to keeping our people safe. Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilians, cities, and towns show how important modern air defenses are. Scaling up ammunition production is key for Ukraine’s security and for ours.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

In the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, NATO deployed Patriot missile systems to protect its allies on its eastern flank. NATO allies also delivered Patriot systems to Ukraine to boost its defense against Russian missile attacks.

The European Sky Shield Initiative was launched by Germany following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Sky Shield initiative enables the purchase of air and missile defense systems.

In December, the Romanian Defense Ministry reportedly filed a request with the parliament to buy 200 PAC-2 GEM-T missiles for its Patriot launchers. It is unclear if the Romanian purchase is related to the combined multibillion-dollar order for NATO states.

The new NATO order comes amid an intensification of aerial attacks carried out by Russian forces against two of Ukraine’s largest cities since the new year.

Russian troops fired 500 missiles and drone strikes against Ukraine over five days. These were the heaviest attacks on Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war, which started almost two years ago.

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