Five facts about the Patriot missile system

The Patriot system is designed to intercept aircraft and mid-to-long range missiles

Date: 21/07/2011, 7:06 PM     Author: Barney Breen-Portnoy

The Patriot is an American surface-to-air missile system designed to intercept aircraft and mid-to-long range missiles. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company, a U.S. defense contractor.

Plans for the Patriot system were initiated in the 1960s. The first operational battery was deployed by the U.S. military in 1984.

Equipment that composes the Patriot system includes: the Patriot intercepting missile; stationary launchers (every battery is equipped with a number of stationary launchers; each launcher has four Patriot missiles); radar (a single, multi-task radar that is equipped with advanced means to deal with electronic warfare); an engagement control station (the nerve center of the Patriot system).

During the First Gulf War in 1991, a number of Patriot batteries were deployed in Israel in order to provide a defense against Scud missiles launched by Iraq. The system did not perform exceptionally well. Following the war, the system underwent a number of changes based on the lessons learned from the war. In the early 1990s, following a process of upgrading the system, additional operational batteries were deployed in Israel.

In recent years, Israel has carried out various modifications to the Patriot system in order to enhance its effectiveness. The Patriot operates in conjunction with other anti-missile systems, including the Iron Dome, Magic Wand and Arrow systems, to counter the various aerial threats that Israel faces.