Patriot GEM Successfully Completes First Test Flight

Released on Monday, June 5, 2006
United States of America
MIM-104 Patriot
Patriot PAC-2
TBM - Theater Ballistic Missile
Raytheon Company's Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM) destroyed two surrogate ballistic missile targets highlighting a successful test flight at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The test is the first of four development flight tests to be conducted by the Army's Patriot Lower Tier Project Office using Raytheon's newly developed Patriot system post deployment build-6 (PDB-6) software.

Three Patriot fire units deployed in a battalion configuration supported the evaluation of this mission's objectives. Two GEMs were ripple-fired at an incoming tactical ballistic missile, 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.

The capabilities incorporated into PDB-6 are the next step in the evolving growth for Patriot. 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 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.

The Patriot Air and Missile Defense System is the world's most advanced ground-based air defense system and is a cornerstone of the U.S. Army's 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. Combat proven during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, Patriot can simultaneously engage multiple targets under the most severe electronic countermeasure conditions.


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