Further digitization, improved friend-foe recognition, the German MIM-104 Patriot is being modernized. This leads to improved reliability and extended functions of the air defense systems. Extensive tests with the new Patriot configuration have now been carried out at the MBDA test site in Freinhausen. The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) should have the more modern Patriot available this year. For three weeks, the Bundeswehr, with the support of MBDA experts, is testing new software and the first modernized radars of the German Patriot systems for their suitability for use. On 5 January 2023, Germany announced that it would supply one Patriot battery to Ukraine.
Jürgen Koneczny, Managing Director of COMLOG GmbH and Head of Patriot MBDA Germany: “Air defense gained in importance with the beginning of the Ukraine war. We support the Bundeswehr in this area with our know-how and our infrastructure. At our test site in Freinhausen, we can test and further develop a wide variety of air defense systems. What has been created here is unique in Europe. A decisive contribution to the provision of sufficient ammunition is also the construction of a production line in Schrobenhausen, as Raytheon and MBDA are driving at Patriot.”
As part of the tests, the Bundeswehr used the MBDA test site in Freinhausen and also deployed combat aircraft, helicopters and drones for target presentation. The cooperation between the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr; BAAINBw) , the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and MBDA Germany has been well established at the Freinhausen location for over a decade. The focus in Freinhausen is currently on the operation of the test and reference facility for the Patriot air defense system, called TuRA for short. However, the site also has the necessary technological infrastructure to test new air defense systems with different ranges.
MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. It was created in December 2001 after the merger of the main French, British and Italian missile systems companies. MBDA develops and manufactures missiles and missile systems that meet the current and future needs of all branches of the armed forces (Air Force, Army and Navy). With locations in five European countries (France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain) and in the USA, MBDA has a turnover of 4.2 billion euros in 2021. In total, MBDA offers 45 missile systems and countermeasure products that are already in operational use. 15 more are in development. MBDA is a joint venture between Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%).