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US successfully tests Patriot system

23rd November 2015 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Army has successfully completed the first in a series of flight tests for the latest Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8) upgrades to Raytheon's Patriot integrated air and missile defense system. 

During the flight test, the PDB-8-configured Patriot battery was used by operators to detect and track a ballistic missile target. The operators successfully engaged the target with PAC-3 and GEM-T missiles. The process was then repeated, with the system successfully engaging a second ballistic missile target with two GEM-T missiles.

Additional flight and testing of the PDB-8 against a variety of targets will be conducted before the upgrade is phased into the Patriot inventory.

The PDB-8 upgrade aims to improve the Patriot's ability to differentiate between friendly and enemy aircraft, engage all categories of threats, and make Patriot easier for soldiers to operate. It also improves the Patriot's radar search and target detection and identification capability, features a redesigned fire solution computer to allow Patriot to utilise PAC-3 MSE missile capabilities, and an enhanced weapons control computer.

PDB-8 will also represent the first army fielding of two new major pieces of hardware: Modern Man Station (MMS), a user interface with colour LCD displays, touch screens and soft keys; and Radar Digital Processor (RDP), a ruggedised commercial off-the-shelf processor.

Ralph Acaba, vice president, integrated air and missile defense, Raytheon, 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.’

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