MIM-104 Patriot

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MIM-104 Patriot

In 1976 the SAM Missile was renamed to the Patriot Missile which is a surface to air missile (SAM Missile). Several nations use the patriot missile system but the primary nation to use it is United States.

Patriot Missile Production History

After many successful tests the Patriot missile replaced the Nike Hercules Missile System, for the United States Primary HIMAD platform (High to Medium Air Defence), also replacing the HAWK system as the U.S Army's MTADP (Medium Tactical Air Defence Platform). The main role for the Patriot missile system is as an anti ballistic missile (ABM) platform.

Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept of Target

The name Patriot is a acronym of Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept of Target.

Everyone has heard of the Patriot missile, it is the world's most advanced ground based anti air missile system. The patriot has the ability to combat many different types of advanced threats, which include aircraft, cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles and many more.

Three Patriot missiles deployed on each of its own launch pad.
Patriot Missiles On Launch Pad
The Patriot Antenna Mast Group (AMG), a 4 kW UHF communications array.
Patriot Antenna Mast Group
Patriot missile launching from a deployed station.
Patriot Missile Launch

Operation Desert Storm

The main test for the patriot missile was during Operation Desert Storm. One of the many features of the patriot missile is its ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously under nearly all electronic countermeasure conditions. The United States Department of Defense had after Operation Desert Storm invest over $3.0 billions to further improve and extend the performance of the ground equipment.

Patriot Missile System

The main key features of the patriot missile system are:

  • Multifunction Phased Array Radar.
  • Track Via Missile Guidance.
  • Automated Operations - this includes man in the loop (human) override.

Alongside the phased array radar, there is deployment of a Patriot Fire Unit with an engagement control station. The power is supplied from an electronic power plant vehicle. Communication is in the form of a mast group antenna, with up to six remote launching stations, each housing 4 Patriot missiles ready to fire. The system is fielded internationally in the Netherlands, Germany Japan, Saudi Arabia, Greece, any many more.

Also with the Patriot launching station the AN/MPQ-53 Radar has ECCM and (TVM) track via missile guidance subsystems. It also has a passive array radar which is scanned electronically and is equipped with IFF.

A deployed Patriot missile radar site.
Patriot Missile Radar
A detailed view of an AN/MPQ-53 radar set. The circular pattern on the front of the vertical component is the system's main phased array, consisting of over 5,000 individual elements, each about 39 millimetres (1.535 in) diameter.
AN/MPQ-53 Radar Set
Pat-3 Patriot radar system in deployment.
Patriot Radar

Patriot Missile Radar Systems

There are two types of radar the first being the AN/MPQ-52 equipped on the Pac-2 and its older models; the AN/MPQ-65 radar equips the Pac-3 models.

The one real main difference between the two radars is the extra travelling wave tube (TWT), this gives the -65 increased search, detection, and tracking capability. The radar has around 5,000 elements, which "flash" the radar's beam lots of times per second.

Also the radar antenna is equipped with an IFF interrogator subsystem, along side a track via missile array, and a "sidelobe canceller" (SLC). This is a tiny array that is used to decrease interference which could affect the radar.

Unique Patriot Missile Capability

Unlike other radar systems the patriot radar is somewhat unique in that it is a "detection to kill" system. This means it does all the searching, identification, track, and engagement abilities. Detection range of the Patriot radar is about 100km, and can track up to 100 target at one time. The cost of such Equipment is around $38 Million.

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