Recently, the Biden administration said it would provide another $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including the Patriot air defence system. Ukraine is fighting a war with Russia and it needs such defence system to protect itself from incoming missiles.

 

What is Patriot system?

  • The Patriot, which stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, is a theater-wide surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • It has been built by Raytheon Technologies Corp and is considered one of the most advanced air defence systems in the U.S. arsenal.
  • The system was first used in combat during the 1991 Gulf War, with batteries protecting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, and later used during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • Features –
      • It is a mobile system that usually includes powerful radar, a control station, a power generator, launch stations and other support vehicles.
      • The system has different capabilities depending on the type of interceptor used.
        • The PAC-2 interceptor uses a blast-fragmentation warhead, while the newer PAC-3 missile uses more advanced hit-to-kill technology.
      • As per NATO, the system’s radar has a range of over 150 km (93 miles).

 

How widely is the Patriot system used?

  • Raytheon has built more 240 Patriot systems and they are currently used by 18 countries, including the United States.
  • The system has been in high demand in the Middle East because of the threat posed by Iran to the region.
  • According to Raytheon, the system has intercepted more than 150 ballistic missiles in combat since 2015.