Zelenskiy: Ukraine wants to double air defence capabilities through the summer

German Patriot air defence system units are deployed at Vilnius airport

KYIV (Reuters) -President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday he wanted to double Ukraine's air defence capacity over the summer after receiving the country's third German-supplied Patriot system in response to pleas for equipment to guard against Russian air strikes.

Moscow renewed its aerial assaults on Ukraine's national power grid in the spring, causing sweeping blackouts. Zelenskiy has said his country needs at least seven additional Patriot systems to protect itself.

"I set a task for our team to double our defence capabilities this summer, primarily Patriot and others," Zelenskiy told regional leaders, referring also to U.S. Hawk and German Iris systems.

"And now we are starting to see results."

In his comments, posted on his Telegram channel, Zelenskiy said Ukraine had also received on Friday "additional support," from the United States, but gave no details.

Earlier, in his nightly video address, the president expressed gratitude to Germany for providing the third Patriot system.

German Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Jaeger added on X that the newly supplied system will further protect civilians and critical infrastructure.

"The Ukrainian crew has successfully completed appropriate training in Germany," he said.

Kyiv has indicated it hopes for progress on air defence supplies at a NATO summit in Washington next week. A senior U.S. State Department official has said Kyiv is expected to get "good news" at the summit.

Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and regularly uses its arsenal of missiles and drones to conduct long-range strikes.

(Reporting by Yuliia DysaEditing by Tom Balmforth, Ron Popeski and Alistair Bell)