Romania is poised to become the first country to field the newest version of the Patriot air and missile defense system, made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies. The company received the go-ahead in early 2021 after the U.S. Army held a critical design review of significant updates to the air and missile defense system. Romania will also take advantage of the configuration’s flexible architecture to upgrade its current unit in alignment with the new ones.
Romania already has one Patriot fire unit in place. Raytheon Missiles & Defense delivered it in record time last September, responding to the NATO member’s concerns about security in the Black Sea region. It is among 17 Patriot partner nations whose operational scenarios and data inform updates. The company uses that feedback to ensure the system’s continued reliability, maintainability and capability to outpace the full spectrum of threats—from tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles to unmanned aerial vehicles and advanced aircraft.
The recent critical design review included a demonstration of enhancements to the radar, the engagement control station and other aspects of the command-and-control technology. Griffin noted that the team presented a “form, fit, function” audit, as well. That’s an important step in identifying all affected elements and adjusting accordingly—from the updates’ alignment with Patriot’s mechanical and electrical engineering performance overall to the particular parts and connections being added or replaced.
Having passed this review, Raytheon Missiles & Defense is now advancing the unit’s documentation to detail how its team puts the pieces together. At the same time, it is turning to the supply chain to procure the necessary materials. That chain includes two Romanian companies – Romaero and Aerostar – which are part of the Global Patriot supply base and are currently supporting the program’s production and sustainment activities. Meanwhile, Patriot designers and engineers are also testing the improved features before refining and integrating them into the system as a whole.