Romania to field newest version of US Patriot air defense missile system
According to information published on May 21, 2021, Romania is poised to become the first country to field the newest version of the U.S. Patriot air and missile defense system, made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies.
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A patriot missile launcher system part of 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, sits in a training area during the unit’s table gunnery training exercise on Kadena Air Base in Japan, Oct. 19, 2017. (Picture source U.S. DoD)
In May 2018, U.S. Army has awarded a $395.8 million contract to American company Raytheon Company for the production of Romania's Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. According to Patrick Griffin, senior program manager for the Romania Patriot program, Romania's armed forces will receive the latest versions of Patriot combat-proven fire units.
The Patriot is an air defense missile defense system consisting of radars, command-and-control technology, and multiple types of interceptors, all working together to detect, identify and defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft, and other threats. Patriot is the foundation of integrated air and missile defense for 15 nations.
Romania already has one Patriot fire unit in place. Raytheon Missiles & Defense delivered it in record time last September, responding to the NATO member’s concerns about security in the Black Sea region.
Now, in addition to receiving the latest system, Romania will also take advantage of the configuration’s flexible architecture to upgrade its current unit in alignment with the new ones. And, while it will be the first to field the enhanced configurations, Romania is also contributing to the continuous evolution of Patriots around the world. The other countries that use Patriot will benefit, too, from the hardware and software changes to the unit’s technical baseline.
The result of the improvements and enhancements is that today’s Patriot is advanced, modern, and capable of defeating the full spectrum of threats. It shares the same name and basic purpose of the Patriot of the past, but that is where the similarity ends.
Patriot has continually embraced new technologies to stay ahead of evolving threats. As a result, with a few small exceptions, such as heaters and cooling fans, the bulk of the system has been modernized over the past 17 years.