The benefits of membership

Knowledge is power: Patriot countries learn from decades of expertise

A Patriot radar stands guard in the night.

A Patriot radar stands guard in the night.

It’s one of the most exclusive clubs in the world.

Admission is automatic for any country that owns the Patriot air and missile defense system. And ownership comes with continuous learning, based on real-world data from 2,500 search-and-track flight tests; dozens of annual missile firings; numerous training exercises; and ongoing deployments in a wide range of environmental and operational conditions. 

“We sometimes hear people refer to the system as ‘legacy Patriot,’” according to Bob Kelley, director, IAMD Domestic Programs for Business Development & Strategy. “But there is nothing ‘legacy’ about it.”

For 16 nations, Patriot ownership is a ticket to learn from a select council of defense experts. And to help build the roadmap for the modernization of the ever-evolving Patriot system.

Patriot is the cornerstone of air and missile defense for the U.S. and 15 other allied nations in Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East.

“Membership in this exclusive club allows for new-partner-nation attendance at the International Engineering Services Program annual reviews, well before accepting delivery of their new Patriot Systems,” said Michelle Demaio, European programs manager within the Patriot Systems group. 

Countries have the option of joining the Patriot club, and sharing costs to develop Patriot enhancements. The countries then upgrade the system regularly in order to field the most advanced Patriot configuration.

“As conflicts around the world evolve, Raytheon is continuously adding new features to the Patriot system,” said Dawn Stanvick, Patriot Systems program area director. “These improvements are often initially developed and incorporated into new production Patriot systems being produced for our international partners.”

The upgrade path for Patriot is mapped out at the International Engineering Services Program annual review. Since 1992, senior military officials from Patriot owner nations have gathered there to share information and vote on the budget for new technology investments. The group also benefits from each other, trading operational knowledge and best practices.

One such best practice is Human Systems Integration. The U.S. Army recognizes the soldier as a key component in operating systems. In other words, HSI is the voice of the soldier.

For a system to operate optimally, the operator must perform rapidly and efficiently. HSI dictates that decisions made with the operator in mind enhances a system and reduces long-term cost. There is command-and-control technology for the Patriot system that makes operating easier by the way data is shown on screens. It’s a warfighter machine interface, or WMI.

Nate Jones worked with Raytheon's Patriot air and missile defense system while serving as a Chief Warrant Officer. Now he is an authority on air and missile defense for the company, and makes sure the voice of the soldier is in the Patriot program. Jones said that user feedback strongly influences Patriot modernization.

“We want gaming-style technology that looks and feels like what soldiers use in their free time,” Jones said. “The advanced technologies warfighters use to save lives in combat or other operational missions should be as intuitive as the technologies they use to play video games.”

So for the Patriot air and missile defense system this means WMI reduces operator training time. It cuts long-term costs. And it’s what users want, reinforcing that membership has its privileges.

The 16 Patriot Member Nations are:

  • United States of America
  • The Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Israel
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • Taiwan
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Republic of Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Poland
  • Sweden
Published On: 01/08/2018
Last Updated: 04/03/2019