New Patriot Missile System Intercepts Target in Debut

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Tewksbury, Mass.-based Raytheon Co. recently completed a series of system-level guided flight tests of the new Patriot air and missile defense system at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., according to a March 29 company press release.

A March 21 system-level test used new major end items — including radar, Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) missile, launching station, Information Coordination Central, and Engagement Control Station — against a long-standing performance scenario to verify system capability.

In the guided test flight, the system searched, detected and tracked an air-breathing target flying at a low altitude in a high-clutter environment, which the GEM-T destroyed. Raytheon followed the test by using the modernized Patriot system to fire two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles to engage a ballistic missile target.

Sanjay Kapoor, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems vice president for integrated air and missile defense, said the Patriot system performed flawlessly during the test. “Our customers and warfighters will greatly benefit from the new designs, such as the color LCD displays with touch screens and digital track via missile guidance,” he said in a statement.