U.S. Army conducts most significant Patriot modernization since the early 1990s
Patriot missile defense system consisting of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of interceptors remains fixtures among the U.S. Army’s top priorities.
According to a statement released by Army News Service, the Army’s Patriot Air Defense battalions are upgrading their fire-control computers, communications, radars and operator interfaces while adding more capable missiles in a refit that is scheduled to continue through 2021.
“Right now we’re conducting the most significant Patriot modernization since the early 1990s,” said Col. Mark A. Holler, commandant of the Air Defense Artillery School at Fort Sill.
Patriot is Raytheon-made combat-proven missile defense system developed to detect, identify and defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft and other threats.
Since it was first fielded, Raytheon’s Patriot has been used by five nations in more than 250 combat engagements against manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. Since January of 2015, Patriot has intercepted more than 150 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world; more than 90 of those intercepts involved the low-cost Raytheon-made Guidance Enhanced Missile family of surface-to-air missiles.
About 25 years ago, units began receiving Patriot Advanced Capability 3 — or PAC-3 — missiles combined with an overhaul to command and control systems and related software.
Upgrading again, the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement — or MSE missiles — fielded a few years ago brought extended range and more maneuverability due to a more powerful rocket motor and larger fins. However, radar limitations prevented utilizing PAC-3 MSE missiles to their full capability.
Now Patriot units are undergoing a system-wide upgrade, to include radar improvements that will enable them to use the full capability of the PAC-3 MSE missile.
An upgrade called Post-Deployment Build 8, or PDB8, is providing Patriot units with a more capable radar by transitioning from analog to digital processing.
“It’s really a depot-level rebuild of much …read more
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