German air defence system in eastern Poland is now operational

The US-made Patriot air defence system that Germany has sent to Poland after a tragic missile blast has reached operational readiness, a newspaper has reported.

The German government offered Poland the Patriots to help the country secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed near the Polish village of Przewodow close to the Ukrainian border in November killing two persons.

Poland says the missile was likely a Ukrainian air-defence rocket that went rogue.

In its Friday edition, the Rzeczpospolita daily wrote that Germany had offered Poland three Patriot PAC-3 batteries to strengthen the security of the Polish eastern border. They are to be integrated with the Polish air defence system.

Quoting information from Bundeswehr (German armed forces), the Rzeczpospolita newspaper added that the German air defence contingent in Poland has reached initial operational readiness.

The German armed forces also said that 350 German soldiers had been sent to Poland together with the Patriots. The headcount can be increased to 650 in case of need.