“It ... benefits everyone when more countries select Patriot as their missile defense system,” he said.
Loren Thompson with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute said Raytheon’s Patriot system was riding a major military modernization wave in the Middle East, but also benefited from the U.S. Army’s decision to pull out of the next-generation MEADS system that was initially meant to replace Patriot.
A Lockheed-led international consortium is developing the Medium Extended Air and Missile Defense System with funding from the United States, Germany and Italy. Washington plans to end funding this year, after the development program is completed.
“With the waning of MEADS, Patriot is likely to remain the pre-eminent air defense system in the world for the next 20 years,” he said. “The reason it’s a never-ending opportunity for Raytheon is because its successor was killed.”
One of MEADS’s key attributes was a 360-degree radar that allows the system to spot threats coming from any direction, something Patriot cannot do.
Glaeser said Raytheon is “exploring options for a 360-degree sensor to meet the requests of our international parties.” The Army has said it hopes to harvest some technologies from the MEADS program and reuse them, but it has not released details.
(This Aug. 4 story corrects 9th paragraph to show that Poland is considering buying new Patriot fire units, instead of Patriot equipment from Germany, and adds that Singapore and Malaysia are considering other air and missile defense capabilities.)