Spain Army MIM-104 Patriot Surface-to-air Missile Launcher
Spain Army MIM-104 Patriot Surface-to-air Missile

Spain Army to Continue Its Patriot Missile Defense Support to Turkey

Spain Army (Ejército de Tierra) has extended the mandate of the Patriot missile defense system that was deployed in Türkiye’s southern Adana province in 2013 to contribute to the country’s air defense. The missile defense system was deployed in Adana to support NATO’s efforts to protect Türkiye against threats of attack from Syria. Spain has extended the mandate of the system and the duty period of the soldiers until June 2023. Taking over the task from the Netherlands in January 2015, Spain has continued the mission since then. The mandate of the Patriot missile defense system stationed in Adana was set to expire at the end of this year.

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 states. 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. The Patriot system replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army’s primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system and replaced the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army’s medium tactical air defense system. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.

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Spain Army MIM-104 Patriot Surface-to-air Missile Launcher
Spain Army MIM-104 Patriot Surface-to-air Missile Launcher

The Patriot system gained prestige during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 with the claimed engagement of over 40 Iraqi Scud missiles. Patriot systems have been sold to the armed forces of the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Romania and Sweden. 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.

Patriot was first introduced with a single missile type: the MIM-104A. This was remedied during the late 1980s when Patriot received its first major system overhaul with the introduction of the Patriot Advanced Capability missile and concurrent system upgrades. PAC-3 system upgrades continue under the International Engineering Services Program (IESP) which includes all countries that rely on Patriot for integrated air and missile defense (as of 2022, United States of America, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Romania, Sweden, Poland, and Bahrain).

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