Raytheon has won a contract worth $1.2 billion to supply Patriot air defence missiles to Switzerland. The contract was announced by the U.S. Department of Defense on 28 March, as part of the Foreign Military Sales program.
The Patriot missile system is a surface-to-air missile system that can detect, track, and intercept incoming missiles or aircraft. It consists of several components, including radars, command-and-control technology, and multiple interceptors. The system provides comprehensive defence against airborne threats, such as cruise missiles, drones, advanced aircraft, and ballistic missiles.
Switzerland has selected Patriot as part of its “Air 2030” program, which aims to modernize the protection of its airspace. Raytheon will collaborate with Rheinmetall Air Defence and Radar Systems, RUAG, and Mercury Systems to provide Patriot fire units to Switzerland. The work will be performed in various locations in the U.S., Germany, and Switzerland, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2032.
Patriot is the foundation of integrated air and missile defence for 17 nations around the world. It has been used by five nations in more than 250 combat engagements since it was first fielded. Raytheon claims that Patriot is the most advanced and capable air and missile defence system in the world.
Patriot air defence system
The Patriot air defence system is one of the most advanced and widely used missile defence systems in the world. It was developed by the United States in the 1970s and 1980s to counter the threat of Soviet aircraft and ballistic missiles. Since then, it has been upgraded and improved to deal with modern challenges such as cruise missiles, drones, and stealth aircraft.
The Patriot system consists of four main components: a radar station, a command center, a launcher, and an interceptor missile. The radar station detects and tracks incoming targets and sends information to the command center. The command center evaluates the threat and decides whether to engage it or not. The launcher fires the interceptor missile, which uses its own radar and guidance system to home in on the target and destroy it with a high-explosive warhead.
The Patriot system can operate in different modes and configurations depending on the mission and the threat environment. It can defend a large area of up to 68 kilometers in radius and engage multiple targets simultaneously. It can also work together with other air defence systems and share data and commands.
The Patriot system has been used in several conflicts, such as the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Yemeni Civil War. It has also been exported to many countries, such as Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Poland, and Romania. The Patriot system is expected to remain in service until at least 2040 and continue to evolve with new technologies and capabilities.