Bahrain has requested to buy U.S. Patriot PAC-3 missile systems

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain of various Patriot missile systems and related support and equipment for an estimated cost of $2.478 billion.

Bahrain has requested to buy U.S. Patriot PAC 3 missile systems 925 001
U.S. Soldiers with 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 10th Army Air & Missile Defense Command install and check MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems for a readiness exercise at Oberdachstetten range complex, Ansbach Germany, March 13, 2019. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The Government of Bahrain has requested to buy sixty (60) Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, thirty-six (36) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles with canisters, nine (9) M903 Launching Stations (LS), five (5) Antenna Mast Groups (AMG), three (3) Electrical Power Plants (EPP) III, two (2) AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets (RS), and two (2) AN/MSQ-132 Engagement Control Stations (ECS).

Also included is communications equipment, tools and test equipment, range and test programs, support equipment, prime movers, generators, publications and technical documentation, training equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT), U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, Systems Integration and Checkout (SICO), field office support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $2.478 billion.

The proposed sale will enhance Bahrain's interoperability with the United States. Bahrain will use Patriot to improve its missile defense capability, defend its territorial integrity, and deter regional threats. Bahrain will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.

The prime contractor for the PAC-3 Missile is Lockheed-Martin in Dallas, Texas. The prime contractor for the GEM-T missile is Raytheon Company in Andover, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system which that has been designed to defend airspace against airborne threats as part of an integrated air and missile defence system.

The PAC-3 upgrade carried with it a new missile design, nominally known as MIM-104F and called PAC-3 by the Army. The PAC-3 missile evolved from the Strategic Defense Initiative's ERINT missile, and so it is dedicated almost entirely to the anti-ballistic missile mission. Due to miniaturization, a single canister can hold four PAC-3 missiles (as opposed to one PAC-2 missile per canister).

The PAC-3 missile is also more maneuverable than previous variants, due to 180 tiny pulse solid propellant rocket motors mounted in the forebody of the missile (called Attitude Control Motors, or ACMs) which serve to fine align the missile trajectory with its target to achieve hit-to-kill capability. However, the most significant upgrade to the PAC-3 missile is the addition of a Ka band active radar seeker. This allows the missile to drop its uplink to the system and acquire its target itself in the terminal phase of its intercept, which improves the reaction time of the missile against a fast-moving ballistic missile target.

Patriot systems have been sold to the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Republic of China (Taiwan), Greece, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Romania. South Korea purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany after North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles to the Sea of Japan and proceeded with underground nuclear testing in 2006.[5] Jordan also purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany.