US Army updates Patriot missile defence system in South Korea


The US Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade has completed an eight-month exercise to modernise the Patriot missile defence system at Osan Air Base in South Korea.

The missile defence system has been designed to counter tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, drones, and aircraft.

Carried out in collaboration with Raytheon and the Lower Tier Project Office, the modernisation project aims to enhance protection from potential North Korean aggression.

Raytheon project manager Steven Knierim said that the Patriot modernisation project is the largest ever conducted outside a continental depot facility.

35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Patriot modernisation project officer Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tara Gibbs said: "The purpose of the battalion netted exercise was two-fold. First, it was to validate the systems to ensure everything worked and met the industry standard for performance.

"The second was to qualify the soldiers and crews on the new equipment."

The exercise involved networking batteries into the battalion data link architecture from geographically dispersed locations around the peninsula.

"For the soldiers that work in the engagement control station, one of the smaller but more comfortable enhancements was the ergonomic improvements."

Each battery crew was required to complete a series of competency tests as part of the training.

Company C, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment fire control platoon leader 2nd Lieutenant Nathan Jackson said: "For the soldiers that work in the engagement control station, one of the smaller but more comfortable enhancements was the ergonomic improvements.

"Touchscreen manoeuvrable displays, along with improved adjustable seats, make long shifts more endurable."

The brigade is also expected to modernise their platform of Avengers in the coming months in order to improve air defence capabilities on the Korean Peninsula.


Image: Soldiers assigned to Battery D, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment assemble an antenna in order to test communication links during a battalion-wide validation exercise at Osan Air Base. Photo: courtesy of US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Monik Phan.