Greece announced on Tuesday that a Greek Patriot air-defence unit was activated on 20 January and will send some of its to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the framework of a programme involving the US, Britain and France. 130 personnel Greek military will be deployed to Saudi Arabia, which is covering all the costs. Greece is “trying to re-energise” relations with the Gulf Arab countries as part of its response to Turkish provocations but stressed the Patriot deployment would not jeopardise its relations with Saudi Arabia’s neighbours as it is a purely defensive system. The Hellenic Air Force’s 350 Guided Missile Wing has operated Patriot PAC 3 systems with MIM-104D Guidance Enhance Missiles since 2002–03. It has six guided missile squadrons (21-26) equipped with the system.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target” which is a backronym for PATRIOT. In addition to these roles, Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot’s primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.
Patriot systems have been sold to the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Egypt, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Republic of China (Taiwan), Greece, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Romania. South Korea purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany after North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles to the Sea of Japan and proceeded with underground nuclear testing in 2006. Jordan also purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany. Poland hosts training rotations of a battery of U.S. Patriot launchers. On December 4, 2012, NATO authorized the deployment of Patriot missile launchers in Turkey to protect the country from missiles fired in the civil war in neighboring Syria.