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Patriot Downs Two Target Missiles In Successful Test

By | June 12, 2006

      Patriot guidance enhanced missiles (GEM) made by Raytheon Co. [RTN] destroyed two incoming short-range ballistic missiles in tests of the Raytheon anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) system, the company announced.

      Tests were conducted at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

      This round of testing was the first of four development flight tests by the Army Lower Tier Project Office using the newly developed Patriot system post-deployment build-6 (PBD-6) software, according to the company.

      “Without a doubt, this test demonstrated the Configuration-3/PDB-6 system’s capability to search, detect, track, classify, engage and kill two surrogate full-body tactical ballistic missile (TBM) targets,” said Rick Yuse, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) vice president of integrated air defense.

      This is how the test went:

      Three Patriot fire units deployed in a battalion configuration supported evaluation of this mission’s objectives. Two GEMs were ripple-fired at an incoming tactical ballistic missile (TBM), and as the intercept occurred, the Patriot Configuration-3 radar successfully detected, tracked and engaged a second target.

      A third GEM successfully intercepted the second incoming TBM while managing the first intercept.

      Capabilities incorporated into PDB-6 are the next step in the evolving growth for Patriot, according to Raytheon.

      This update is composed of user-requested improvements, planned performance improvements, and improvements that had resulted out of lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      Patriot fire units, consisting of the Patriot launchers, engagement control stations and Patriot radar systems, provided the battle management, command, control and communications to ensure the Configuration-3 system achieved test objectives, the company stated.

      Targets for the mission were Patriot-as-a-Target, a Patriot legacy missile modified to represent a short-range ballistic missile target. Test data indicated that seamless communication and data transfer between the Patriot radar, engagement control station, and Patriot launcher enabled the GEMs to destroy both targets.

      All tactical hardware for the missions were manned and operated by soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Artillery, Fort Bliss, Texas.

      Raytheon IDS is the prime contractor for the Patriot system and the system integrator for the Configuration-3 system that includes the GEM missile.

      As the system integrator, Raytheon IDS ensures that all Patriot system components provide the warfighter a reliable and lethal capability to defeat the threats in current and future combat environments, according to the company.

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