Patriot missile

Raytheon has been awarded a contract to continue enhancements to the Patriot air and missile defence system.

Issued by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command, the $212m contract requires the company to provide software development, systems analysis, testing and logistics support, and other country-specific system requirements.

Funded by the US and the 12 other Patriot partner nations through a shared engineering services agreement, the improvements are expected to augment the system’s capability and readiness.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems business integrated air and missile defense vice-president Ralph Acaba said: "The US and other Patriot partner nations have made significant investments over the years, so that Patriot can maintain a high readiness rate and outpace evolving threats on the modern battlefield.

"This latest contract builds on those previous investments and helps ensure that fielded systems in the inventories of the 13-nation Patriot partnership are prepared to perform whenever and wherever they are called upon."

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 in the battlefield.

"Patriot can maintain a high readiness rate and outpace evolving threats on the modern battlefield."

The system is currently in service with Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, as well as the UAE and the US.

Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out in Andover, Billerica, Burlington and Tewksbury, Massachusetts, El Segundo, California, El Paso, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, Norfolk, Virginia, Pelham, New Hampshire, and White Sands, New Mexico, US.

Raytheon recently received a $769.4m direct commercial sale contract from South Korea to upgrade an undisclosed quantity of its Patriot batteries to the currently fielded patriot missile defence system solution configuration.

The upgrades include addition of open architecture, modern man station, as well as radar digital processor that improves target detection and identification and enhances surveillance, among other features.

Image: A Patriot missile being launched at McGregor Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of US Army.