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Taiwan Patriot BMD Test Firings Kill Two Target Missiles, Raytheon Reports

By | July 31, 2006

      Taiwan used the Patriot ballistic missile defense system to take down two target ballistic missiles, Raytheon Co. [RTN] reported.

      Prime contractor Raytheon makes the missiles, and Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] makes the guidance system.

      Taiwan wishes to erect defenses against incoming tactical missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft because the small island nation is threatened by mainland China, where the People’s Liberation Army of China wields hundreds of missiles. China also is buying cutting-edge aircraft.

      Beijing belligerence includes passage of a law stating that the communist dictatorship of China will invade democratic Taiwan unless it capitulates and submits, soon, to mainland rule.

      Raytheon reported that Taiwanese forces destroyed two surrogate ballistic missiles with the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System during the Han Kuang military exercises conducted near Ilan in the northeast region of Taiwan.

      The successful firings, using Patriot Guidance Enhancement Missiles (GEM), reinforced the Taiwanese capability to conduct a live-fire exercise in a tactical environment against a realistic threat, according to Raytheon..

      Taiwan was the first international Patriot customer to hold a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) live fire exercise outside the United States, according to the company.

      In June 2001, the Taiwanese military conducted two missions to test Patriot against a TBM target and an air breathing threat.

      The missions were successful, with both targets destroyed by GEM missiles.

      In June 2004, the Taiwanese military and Patriot successfully destroyed a surrogate ballistic missile target, again with GEM missiles.

      Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems is the prime contractor for the Patriot system and the system integrator for the Configuration 2 and 3 systems that include the affordable GEM missile.

      The Patriot is deployed by the U.S. Army integrated air defense system.

      Patriot is a long-range, high-altitude, all-weather system designed to defeat advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

      The missiles have been employed in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm and ongoing Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      Patriot simultaneously can engage multiple targets under the most severe electronic countermeasure conditions, according to Raytheon.

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