Germany has started delivery and deployment of a Patriot air defense system to Poland to help secure its airspace amid increasing tension in the region.

A military transport aircraft carrying the first two batteries for the Patriot system set off from north Germany on Monday morning, according to public German broadcaster NDR.

They will be deployed in the Polish town of Zamosc close to the Ukrainian border.

“Their mission is to defend the NATO partner’s airspace within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from its border with Ukraine,” NDR reported.

A total of three Patriot batteries will be handed over to the Polish military to prevent stray missile strikes.

They will be equipped with more than 10 elements, including radars, guiding units, and launchers that can hold up to sixteen missiles each.

Fear of War Escalation

Germany’s decision to send the Patriot air defense system to Poland came after a stray Ukrainian missile struck the Polish village of Przewodow in November last year.

Two men were killed in the incident, raising fears that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is already spilling over the border.

“One of the reasons why Germany will now support NATO’s eastern flank in Poland with Patriots is certainly because we saw how quickly the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could spill over to NATO member countries,” German Colonel Joerg Sievers said, as quoted by Reuters.

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