Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: MIM-104D Patriot, MIM-104E Patriot GEM-T, Patriot GEM+ and Patriot GEM-C
Origin: United States of America
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
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Description: The Patriot missile was designed to counter short-range (also known as theater) ballistic missiles. It features a track-via-missile guidance system that allows MPQ-53 radar to steer it toward the target (incoming ballistic missile). In the terminal phase of the flight the Patriot missile transmits targets position updated data to the ground stations and the MSQ-104's computer sends back to the Patriot missile correction calculations. The corrected data enables the Patriot missile to intercept the ballistic missile. Usually the speed of both the ballistic missile and the Patriot missile are in excess of 5,000 km/h.
The Patriot missile was intended against ballistic targets and aircraft. The production Patriot missile is supplied inside an aluminum canister that acts as a launch tube and storage container.
The Patriot PAC-2 was developed due to low performance of baseline Patriot missiles during the Gulf War in 1991. The PAC-2 features greater range, better warhead, enhanced guidance system and better performance against ballistic missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles.
The Patriot GEM-T is a low-cost, highly effective upgrade available to existing Patriot PAC-2 missiles providing them with a significant capability for countering the full spectrum of airborne threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The US Army placed a contract pursuing 376 PAC-2 missiles upgraded to the GEM-T configuration. As of early 2005, the US had taken delivery of 230 GEM-T missiles. The improved missile is also available to allied nations.
On March 31, 2005, Raytheon announced it was awarded a $52 million contract by the US Army to upgrade 163 Patriot PAC-2 missiles to the GEM+ configuration. Another 90 Patriot PAC-2 will be upgraded to the GEM-T configuration, and 73 PAC-2 GEM will be upgraded to GEM-C. The newest GEM+ configuration provides capabilities from PAC-3 missile to existing PAC-2 missiles.
On April 13, 2006 Raytheon was awarded the eleventh contract from the US Army to upgraded Patriot PAC-2 missiles to GEM+ configuration. This contract was valued at $47 million. Since the program's inception in 2000 the Army allocated $256 million for upgrade of 770 missiles of which 515 were already delivered in early 2006.
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