A first set of U.S. Patriot missiles are scheduled to be fielded in Poland toward the end of next month, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, April 20).
"Following preparations and consultations, the first deployment of a battery of antimissile Patriots will start around May 24 in Morag," Polish Defense Ministry spokesman Janusz Sejmej said.
Eight Patriot launchers and a complement of 100 U.S. troops are ultimately to be located at the site located about 35 miles from the border of the Russian Kaliningrad territory. The U.S. military personnel are to train Polish troops on operating the missile batteries.
The spokesman would not comment on the length of time that the surface-to-air interceptors would be deployed in Poland, though he said it would be "temporary."
The Patriots are unrelated to a wider proposal for a missile shield that would involve the deployment of sea- and land-based missile interceptors around Europe as protection from possible Iranian missile attacks (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, April 21).