Patriot in focus amid missile defense system shortage

UKRAINE-CRISIS/USA-PATRIOT (FACTBOX):FACTBOX-Patriot in focus amid missile defense system shortage

Reuters
First Published22 Jun 2024, 12:01 AM IST
Patriot in focus amid missile defense system shortage
Patriot in focus amid missile defense system shortage

June 21 (Reuters) - As Ukraine's military struggles with a shortage of missile defense systems amid Russia's bombardment of its energy infrastructure, Patriot systems, which have helped Kyiv defend itself against the attacks, are in focus.

WHAT IS THE PATRIOT SYSTEM?

The Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, or Patriot, is a sophisticated surface-to-air missile defense system recognized as one of the most advanced air defense systems in the U.S. arsenal.

OPERATIONAL MECHANICS

The mobile missile defense system typically comprises strong radar, a control station, power generators, launch stations and ancillary support vehicles.

Its capabilities vary based on the type of interceptor deployed. An interceptor is a projectile fired at an incoming missile with the aim of knocking it down.

The PAC-2 interceptor features a blast-fragmentation warhead, whereas the PAC-3 missile utilizes advanced hit-to-kill technology.

MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY CHAIN

The Patriot system is supported by two major primes. Raytheon, under RTX, manufactures radar and ground systems, while Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control division makes the interceptor missiles.

PRODUCTION SCALE AND BUSINESS

The much in demand Patriot system has been lucrative for these contractors. The production of Patriot interceptors is increasing at the rate of 100 missiles per year. With each missile costing about $4 million, this represents a potential $400 million increase in annual sales from just one weapons system.

Boeing, which makes the sensor that guides the Patriot missile, is increasing its production capacity by more than 30%.

OTHER WELL-KNOWN DEFENSE SYSTEMS

Beyond Patriot, other well-known defense systems include the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, designed to intercept and destroy short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in their terminal phase of flight. It is deployed in South Korea.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, can intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles during the mid-course phase of flight. (Reporting by Pratyush Thakur in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)

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First Published:22 Jun 2024, 12:01 AM IST
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