The damage to a Patriot air defense system following a Russian missile attack near Kyiv on Tuesday morning is minimal, three US officials tell CNN, with one official describing it as "minor" damage.
The US sent inspectors to examine the system on Tuesday, after being told by the Ukrainians that the system appeared to have been damaged, one official said.
The system itself is still operational, the officials said, and the radar component of the Patriot, one of its most important elements, was not damaged. US officials do not believe the Patriot will need to be removed from the battlefield for repairs.
A complete Patriot battery has six major components: generators, a radar set, a control station, antennas, a launcher station and interceptor missiles. The components operate together to fire a Patriot missile and successfully guide it to its target.
It is not clear what part of the Patriot was damaged or if it was damaged by an actual missile strike or falling debris. The Ukrainians said they successfully intercepted all six Russian Kinzhal missiles on Tuesday morning.
Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force Command, has told Ukrainian TV that the US-made Patriot air defense system could not be destroyed by a Kinzhal missile.
"Do not worry about the fate of the Patriot. From a technical point of view, Patriot is a ... system," he said, noting that it consisted of components that can be located at a distance from one another.