Number of missiles
Altitude of fire
PAC-2 (Patriot Advanced Capability) upgrade was developed in the
late 1980s. At that time tests began to indicate, that previous
was not effective against ballistic missiles. Even though it could
certainly intercept them, it was not capable of destroying ballistic
missiles reliably. So a PAC-2 missile and system upgrade was
was first tested in 1987. It reached the US Army units in 1990.
Later, during the Persian Gulf War, it was deployed to the middle
east. During the Gulf War the Patriot was first used in combat and
was regarded as a successful anti-ballistic missile system. Several
batteries of the Patriot were deployed in Saudi Arabia and Israel.
These were used to protect cities and strategic targets against
Iraqi ballistic missiles. Iraq launched a total of 83 ballistic
missiles. Patriot missiles destroyed 45 of these ballistic missiles.
A total of 150 Patriot missiles were launched against them.
PAC-2 is in service with the US armed forces. It has been exported
to Israel, Japan, Netherlands and South Korea.
introduced the first major missile upgrade. The MIM-104C missile was
introduced. It is also referred as the PAC-2 missile. This missile
is optimized for high-speed ballistic missile engagements. It has
much larger projectiles in the blast-fragmentation warhead and
different timing of the fuse. Engagements procedures for the missile
were also optimized, changing the method of fire, when it was used
to engage ballistic missiles. The previous PAC-1 launched two
missiles in almost simultaneous salvo. The PAC-2 launched missiles
with a delay of 3-4 seconds. Such method of fire was more effective
against ballistic missiles. However the PAC-2 missiles retain old
algorithms for aircraft engagements. If necessary these can be
launched against aircraft. Radar and search algorithms were further
optimized, comparing with the PAC-1.
missile has a range of about 160 km. This air defense system has
four missiles per launcher. Missiles are stored and launched from
reinforced aluminum canisters at a fixed angle. Launchers are mounted on a trailers or
based on 8x8 high mobility chassis. Launchers are self-contained
units, fitted with their own powerplants and fuel. During operation
this units are unmanned. The towed launchers are towed by
Oshkosh M983 8x8 tractor truck, or other tractor trucks. The mobile
version is based on the
KAT 1 8x8 high mobility vehicle. It takes 30 minutes to prepare
the system for firing. A battery of launchers and associated support
vehicles can change position up to several times a day.
introduction in the 1990 there were many upgrades of the Patriot
PAC-2. The MIM-104D missile has been introduced. It has improved
guidance and more efficient fused warhead. This missile was used
extensively in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
missile optimized to deal with cruise missiles was introduced. It
had a new nose section. Upgrades of the PAC-2 still continue.
PAC-3 upgrade was introduced. This system has a further improved
capabilities against ballistic missiles. The MIM-104F or PAC-3 missile is a lot
smaller than older Patriot missiles. Four missiles are carried in a
single container. So a single launcher has 16 missiles instead of 4.
The missile has a range of about 40 km and altitude of 20 km.
battery or fire unit is a basic operating element. Normally it
includes a command post, radar, 8 launchers and support vehicles.
The battery can engage up to 8 targets simultaneously. If required
the battery can operate with up to 16 launchers. Launchers can be
located up to 1 km from radar or command post vehicle. In order to
establish effective and overlapping defenses batteries are located
30-40 km between each other.
A crane is
used to reload the launchers with the missiles.
Video of the Patriot
defense missile system