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A successful flight test has proved that the latest upgrades to the Raytheon-made (NYSE: RTN) Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense systemwill be able to destroy advanced threats at greater ranges. The upgraded system more effectively employs the newest Patriot interceptor.
The combat-proven Patriot system, upgraded with a suite of improvements collectively known as Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8), successfully tracked and engaged a ballistic missile target with PAC-3 MSE missiles during the test.
"Patriot continues to evolve and improve to outmatch belligerent nations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, which are constantly improving their weapon systems and tactics," said Ralph Acaba, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense. "When fully developed and fielded, PDB-8 will enable Patriot to take more complete advantage of PAC-3 MSE's capabilities."
One upgrade, known as the Radar Digital Processor (RDP), enables the PAC-3 MSE interceptor to realize more of its potential. The RDP is a ruggedized, commercial, off-the-shelf processor that reduces Patriot's operations and maintenance cost while improving its previously impressive reliability by approximately 40 percent. RDP is fully digital, which means that its software can be upgraded to address future threats.
In addition to the RDP, PDB-8 also represents the first U.S. Army fielding of the Modern Man Station (MMS), a user interface with color LCD displays, touch screens and soft keys.
Although a number of Patriot partner nations have already fielded MMS and RDP, PDB-8 takes full advantages of the hardware upgrades. As a result, the U.S. Army and other PDB-8 users will have the following features and benefits in their Patriot systems:
- Enhanced capability against a variety of threats
- An improved Identification Friend or Foe capability
- Improved radar search capability
- Improved target detection and identification
- A redesigned Fire Solution Computer, which enables Patriot to take advantage of the PAC-3 MSE missile capabilities
- An Enhanced Weapons Computer, which is projected to provide up to 50 percent more processing power for software enhancements, allowing it to address evolving threats by using commercial off-the-shelf processors