Switzerland Selects Patriot Configuration 3+ For Future Air Defense Requirements
Switzerland Selects Patriot Configuration 3+ For Future Air Defense Requirements

Raytheon Awarded $1.2 Billion Patriot PAC-3 Air-defense Systems Order for Switzerland

Raytheon Co., Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded a $1,225,368,567 firm-fixed-price contract for Patriot Missile System fire units. Work will be performed in Andover and Tewksbury, Massachusetts; West Plains, Missouri; Manchester, New Hampshire; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Altenstadt, Germany; and Switzerland, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2032. Fiscal 2023 Foreign Military Sales (Switzerland) funds in the amount of $1,225,368,567 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary such system 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”. Starting in 1984, the Patriot system began to replace the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army’s primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system and the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army’s medium tactical air defense system.

Raytheon has been awarded a contract by the US department of defense to produce Patriot PAC-3 air-defense systems for Switzerland. (Photo by Swiss Federal Department of Defence)

Switzerland is not within range of short-range missiles deployed by non-NATO or EU armed forces. However, since a potential adversary is also likely to engage such systems from alliance territory, the army must have the capability to identify and combat short-range missiles on final approach. The war in Ukraine shows that the two belligerents fire short-range missiles against both stationary and moving ground targets. Truck-mounted missiles can be moved quickly and easily. In the evaluation, Patriot won out against SAMP/T in all four main categories, in some cases by a very clear margin, and in particular in the main category, effectiveness.

The Patriot purchased under the Army 2022 post can work with various types of guided missiles. The configuration involving the PAC-2 GEM-T (Guidance Enhanced Missile, Tactical), the purchase of which was decided in 2022, is designed for defense against aircraft, drones and cruise missiles and, to some extent, against short-range missiles. Although not a criterion during the evaluation, this capability had also been determined. The increase in the Swiss Army’s budget decided by Parliament makes it possible to react to the evolution of the threat and to request the acquisition of missiles of the PAC-3 MSE (Missile Segment Enhancement) earlier than planned.