Raytheon has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Patriot air and missile defence system operated by the US and two allied militaries.
Awarded by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), the $235.5m contract requires the company to begin full rate production of the radar digital processor (RDP) kits for Patriot modernisation that will deliver significant benefits to troops.
The kits are expected to provide improved target detection and identification, as well as enhanced surveillance, and support of Patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) missile segment enhancement (MSE) system.
Additional benefits would include a 40% improvement in overall radar reliability due to increased mean time between failure, as well as decrease in the number of battery replaceable units needed for the system from 759 to 56.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems business integrated air and missile defence vice-president Ralph Acaba said: "These RDP upgrades are yet another example of how we continue to advance Patriot technology to stay ahead of evolving threats.
"All of our 12 Patriot partners participate in prioritising these enhancements and funding them through the Patriot International Engineering Services Programme."
Developed under the Patriot International Engineering Services Programme (IESP), the RDP increases the reliability of the digital processing system and associated analogue components by tenfold.
Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at the company's Integrated Air Defense Center in Massachusetts, US, with support from a global team of Patriot system suppliers.
Jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system designed to protect soldiers against advanced threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the battlefield.
Extensively operated by the US forces during Kuwait war and the most recent Iraq conflict, the missile is also in service with Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Korea, Taiwan and the UAE.
Image: A Patriot missile being launched. Photo: courtesy of Bernd vdB.