The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a $524 million contract modification for production and delivery of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptors. This modification is in addition to the $944 million contract awarded on December 21, 2017 for PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE production and delivery.
The contract modifications include PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE missile deliveries, launcher modification kits, associated equipment and spares.
«PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE give our customers unmatched, combat-proven hit-to-kill technology to address growing and evolving threats», said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «PAC-3 and MSE are proven, trusted and reliable interceptors that employ hit-to-kill accuracy, lethality and enhanced safety to address dangers around the world».
The PAC-3 is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. PAC-3 currently provides missile defense capabilities for 11 nations – the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Romania.
Building on the combat-proven PAC-3, the PAC-3 MSE uses a two-pulse solid rocket motor that increases altitude and range to defend against evolving threats.
The government of Romania signed an agreement to purchase Raytheon’s combat proven Patriot from the U.S. Army. The agreement, formally referred to as a Letter of Offer and Acceptance, paves the way for Romania’s Patriot force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability, and sets the stage for the U.S. government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon.
Raytheon’s Patriot Solutions is a missile defense system consisting of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of interceptors, all working together to detect, identify and defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft and other threats. Patriot is the foundation of integrated air and missile defense for 13 nations.
Patriot is a purely defensive system that is the backbone of NATO’s defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced aircraft and drones. Romania’s procurement of the system will help the country meet its NATO commitment to spend at least 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on defense.
«With its newly built Patriot capability, Romania’s military will have the ability to defend Romania and its NATO allies», said Tom Laliberty, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense. «Patriot will also enable Romanian air defenders to train, exercise and interoperate with their U.S. and European counterparts».
Thirteen other nations depend on Patriot to protect their citizens and armed forces, including the U.S. and four other European nations: Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain.
«This procurement will create jobs in both the U.S. and Romania», Laliberty added. «Raytheon is developing long-term relationships with Romanian companies to help us build and sustain Romania’s Patriot fleet».
Romania will receive the Patriot Configuration 3+, the most advanced configuration available, as well as an undisclosed quantity of Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM-T) and Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor missiles. These interceptors will enable Romania’s military to defeat current and emerging threats.
After eight months of intense training, members of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade successfully completed a Patriot missile defense system modernization effort that will provide continued protection from potential North Korean aggression.
«In coordination with contractors from Raytheon and the Lower Tier Project Office, the brigade carried out the largest Patriot modernization project ever conducted outside a continental depot facility», said Steven Knierim, Raytheon project manager.
«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», said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tara Gibbs, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Patriot modernization project officer. «The second was to qualify the Soldiers and crews on the new equipment».
As part of the training, the batteries networked into the battalion data link architecture from geographically dispersed locations around the peninsula and conducted air battles. Each battery crew was required to complete a series of competency tests to demonstrate proficiency.
«Prior to the exercise, we spent three weeks split between formal classroom training and hands-on learning», said 2nd Lieutenant Nathan Jackson, Company C, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment fire control platoon leader. «The contractors taught us how to isolate faults in order to better diagnose problems in case the equipment goes down».
According to Jackson, one of the biggest benefits of the modernization overhaul was the replacement of many legacy systems and updating outdated technology. The combination of the two improved the tactical capabilities and reduced maintenance requirements for the missile defense system.
«For the Soldiers that work in the engagement control station, one of the smaller but more comfortable enhancements was the ergonomic improvements», said Jackson. «Touch screen maneuverable displays, along with improved adjustable seats, make long shifts more endurable».
Throughout the modernization process, the brigade carefully balanced the ‘Fight Tonight’ mission in the Korean theater of operation while rotating batteries through the improvised depot at Suwon Air Base.
The brigade is scheduled to modernize their platform of Avengers in the coming months as part of an ongoing plan of enhancing air defense capabilities on the Korean Peninsula.
Readiness and modernization remain fixtures among the Army’s top priorities, both of which are initiatives 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is addressing as the brigade upgrades their Patriot fleet. Upon completion of the largest Patriot modernization project ever conducted outside a depot facility, the Dragon Brigade will operate with the most technological advanced equipment within the Air Defense Artillery community. Furthermore, the brigade will execute a comprehensive new equipment training cycle to maintain Fight Tonight readiness throughout the transition. This article is part of a three-part series that will follow the modernization and readiness effort as it materializes.
On July 10, the United States of America is for the first deploying Patriot long-range missile system in Lithuania. The deployment demonstrates the steadfast U.S. commitment to the security of Lithuania and its high readiness to send strategic capabilities to the region.
The Patriot will be operating in one pool with Lithuanian and other NATO allies’ air defence systems during Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017, multinational ground based air defence units exercise for the first time held in Lithuania.
The exercise will train interoperability among NATO ground based air defence units and refine airspace command and control procedures. The exercise aims at enhancing regional and international integration of joint units thus training and strengthening preparedness for a potential NATO collective defence scenario.
Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 begins in July 11 to run until July 22 in Šiauliai district. The event will involve roughly 500 soldiers and 30 air defence systems of Lithuania and four more NATO allies – the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Latvia, and Poland.
Tobruq Legacy 2017 will be conducted concurrently in Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania under the command of Romania-based Joint Force Air Component Command (NATO JFAC) that will include members of the Lithuanian Air Force. Lithuanian units will also train night air defence operations control at the portion of the exercise in the Czech Republic.
National Exercise Vigilant Falcon 2017 in Lithuania will be an integral part of Tobruq Legacy 2017. The exercise will enhance interoperability and command and control procedures among units of the Lithuanian Air Force.
The host of Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017 is the United States of America. This is the third time the Lithuanian Air Force is among the participants. In 2015 soldiers of the Lithuanian Air Force were for the first-time training NATO air defence operations in a platoon-sized unit in the Czech Republic, in a battery-sized unit in Slovakia – in 2016, and this year representatives of the Lithuanian Air Force will practice joint actions with NATO allies and providing command to a ground based Air Defence Battalion-level unit.
Air and missile defense is about to get better. Raytheon Company recently completed a series of company-funded milestones to upgrade the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. The projected upgrade delivers 360-degree capability and keeps Patriot ahead of increasingly more sophisticated threats, such as aircraft, drones, and cruise and ballistic missiles.
The Patriot radar main array was enhanced with gallium nitride- (GaN) based, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology. The same Raytheon engineers who completed those milestones are currently constructing a GaN-based AESA, full-size, main panel radar array. They are on track to have a full-scale main array prototype operational in early 2016 – just 24 months after the company started building it.
«Raytheon has invested more than $150 million in GaN technology and learned invaluable lessons while building our GaN-based AESA full-scale prototype», said Ralph Acaba, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «This ensures Raytheon is able to rapidly develop, build, test and deliver a combat-ready GaN-based AESA radar that gives Patriot 360-degree capability».
In 2015, Raytheon built a GaN-based AESA rear-panel array and integrated it with a radar for potential use in Patriot, using existing and recently modernized back-end processing hardware and software. The radar then tracked targets of opportunity, leveraging a seamless 360-degree view.
«Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA radar will outmatch future threats for the same reason today’s Patriot is able to outmatch current threats – because it is designed to be upgraded and we have a growth path for the system», said Tim Glaeser, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense Business Development at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business.
The recently accomplished AESA GaN milestones include:
Completing construction of the AESA main array structure;
Constructing the AESA arrays’ radar shelter;
Integrating receivers and a radar digital processor into the radar shelter;
Delivering the shelter to Raytheon’s test facility in Pelham, New Hampshire;
Testing the radar’s cooling sub-system.
Raytheon’s GaN-based AESA radar will work with future open architecture (such as the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System) and retains backwards compatibility with the current Patriot Engagement Control Station. It will also be fully interoperable with NATO.
The Raytheon-built GaN-based AESA radar uses three antenna arrays mounted on a mobile radar shelter to provide 360-degrees of radar coverage. The main AESA array is a bolt-on replacement for the current Patriot antenna. The GaN-based AESA array measures roughly 9′ wide × 13′ tall, and is oriented toward the primary threat. The new rear panel arrays are a quarter the size of the main array, and let the system look behind and to the sides of the main array to offer Patriot the ability to engage threats in all directions.
A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile successfully intercepted an incoming target on Thursday, November 19, as part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The PAC-3 interceptor successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a Patriot-as-a-Target (PAAT), which is a legacy Patriot missile modified to represent a tactical ballistic missile common in today’s operational environment.
«The PAC-3 Missile continues to demonstrate its reliability in the field, and it remains the only combat proven hit-to-kill interceptor in the world», said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «As global threats escalate, we expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as a critical defense layer in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure».
The intercept is the second successful PAC-3 Missile test in just under one week. On Thursday, November 12, a PAC-3 also intercepted an airborne target as part of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) fight test at White Sands.
The PAC-3 Missile is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft using hit-to-kill technology. PAC-3 currently provides missile defense capabilities for six nations – the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan; and Lockheed Martin is on contract for PAC-3 with four additional nations – Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
The most mature hit-to-kill weapon system of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the Patriot Weapon System using Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missiles, is now operational and fielded by the U.S. Army.
A land-based element built upon the proven Patriot air and missile defense infrastructure.
PAC-3 was deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom where it intercepted ballistic missiles with a combination of GEM and PAC-3 missiles. The GEM missile uses a blast fragmentation warhead while the PAC-3 missile employs hit-to-kill technology to kill ballistic missiles.
The Army is responsible for production and further development of the PAC-3 and the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS); the Missile Defense Agency remains responsible for the BMDS and PAC-3 interoperability and integration efforts.
Provides simultaneous air and missile defense capabilities as the Lower Tier element in defense of U.S. deployed forces and allies.
Works with Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to provide an integrated, overlapping defense against missile threats in the terminal phase of flight. Jointly, these systems engage the threat by forming a multi-tier theater defense against adversary missile threats using peer-to-peer engagement coordination, early warning track data, and battle management situational awareness.
Contributes to the entire system’s situational awareness by transmitting precision cueing data to other theater elements while simultaneously protecting system assets against short-range ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets, and air-breathing threats.
For homeland defense, Patriot provides detection, track, and engagement of short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. These engagements are further enhanced by networked remote sensors that supply early warning data to increase the probability of success.
Patriot has added Upper-Tier Debris Mitigation capability to mitigate the excessive radar load and potential missile waste caused by debris from upper-tier intercepts.
October 25, 2012 – A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from Meck Island and a PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interceptor is launched from Omelek Island during MDA’s historic integrated flight test on October 24, 2012 (October 25 on Kwajalein)