Patriot missile defence system

#GS-03 Science and Technology

For Prelims

Patriot missile defence system:

  • Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon.
  • It is named after the Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target) radar system used in it.
  • The Patriot system replaced the Nike Hercules system and the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army’s primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system and medium tactical air defense system respectively.
  • While it was initially developed as a system to intercept high-flying aircraft, it was modified in the 1980s to counter other threats such as ballistic missiles.
  • Currently the Patriot missile system has the ability to defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, jets and “other threats”.
  • However, it doesn’t offer protection against low-flying small drones.
  • Patriot system’s radar has a range of over 150 km and it can track over 50 potential targets at the same time.
  • The mobile Patriot system includes a control centre, a radar station to detect threats, missile launchers to take out those threats and other support vehicles.
  • As of now the Patriot system has been deployed in 18 countries, including the U.S. and other NATO countries.
  • It is also deployed in West Asia, with America’s allies such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel as a counter to Iran.