NATO coalition of member states to buy up to 1,000 Patriot missiles

5 January 2024

NATO on 3 January announced that its procurement arm would support a group of member countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, with a contract to buy up to 1,000 Patriot air defence missiles. The missiles are used to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles as well as aircraft and helicopters.

NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) awarded the production and delivery contract to COMLOG, a joint venture between the US company Raytheon and German company MBDA. The contract is reported to be worth around $5.5 billion, and it is expected to expand European production of the missiles. The large volume of the order will support the set-up of a production facility for Patriot missiles in Germany.

"The consolidated multinational procurement, in the spirit of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), offers economies of scale and supports the expansion of production capacity for new GEM-T missiles to meet increasing demand", the statement said.

The purchase could also help NATO member states free up more of their own defence systems for Ukraine. The NSPA said that “other user nations are expected to benefit from the conditions of the contract,” without elaborating.

In the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine, NATO has deployed Patriot missile batteries to protect member states on its eastern flank. NATO member states have also delivered Patriot systems to Ukraine and are committed to further bolstering Ukraine’s defences.

“Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilians, cities and towns show how important modern air defences are,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. “Scaling up ammunition production is key for Ukraine’s security and for ours”. NATO provides only non-lethal support to Ukraine, but its member states send weapons and ammunition individually or in groups.

Russia’s latest round of airstrikes began on 29 December with its largest single assault on Ukraine of the conflict, with more than 40 civilians being killed since then.