US Army tested Patriot’s latest PDB-8 upgrades 42011153

Defence & Security News - (Raytheon)
US Army tested Patriot’s latest PDB-8 upgrades
The US Army tested the latest upgrades of the Raytheon Patriot air defence system. The Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8), as they have been named, increase the system’s capabilities in eliminating all sorts of threats, with an improved IFF and man-machine interaction. A large part of the funding for the development was provided by the 13 user-nations. The PDB-8 is expected to be in operational use in the near future.
US Army tested Patriot’s latest PDB-8 upgrades
A Patriot system's antenna deployed. (Photo: Raytheon)

The test simulated two ballistic missiles attack. In the first one, the Patriot air defence system operators fired two different missiles. One PAC-3 and one GEM-T, which destroyed the incoming threat. At the second engagement, a while later, the operators fired two GEM-T missiles which were once again successful in destroying the simulated ballistic missile attack.

What stands out in the PDB-8 improvements from previous versions are the Modern Man Station (MMS) and the Radar Digital Processor (RDP). The first one is equipped with LCD displays, touch screens and soft keys, while the RDP is a ruggedized COTS processor which increases reliability by 40%.

Both the MMS and the RDP have been fielded by many nations. However, the PDB-8 improvement combines both of them taking full advantage of their capabilities. Therefore, the PDB-8 will provide to the users enhanced capabilities against all sorts of threats; improved IFF capability; better radar search and, target detection and identification; a redesigned fire solution computer taking advantage of the full capabilities of the PAC-3 SME missile; and an enhanced weapons control computer with 50% more processing power.

Ralph Acaba, Raytheon’s VP of Integrated Air and Missile Defense, said: "Because countries share in the investment of upgrades, Patriot is able to stay ahead of the continually evolving and improving threats we are seeing in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Like all other Patriot upgrades, PDB-8 can be retro-fitted into Patriot fire units around the world, and builds on the lessons learned from Patriot's more than 190 combat employments, 700 flight tests and 2,500-plus ground tests."