Upgrades to the Raytheon-made Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System have proven to be very effective with a recent flight test proving that the they are capable of destroying advanced threats at greater ranges. The test where performed using a Patriot system upgraded with a suite of improvements known as PDB-8 (Post Deployment Build 8) which successfully tracked and engaged a ballistic missile target with PAC-3 MSE missiles.
One of the upgrades known as the Radar Digital Processor (RDP), enables the PAC-3 MSE interceptor to realize more of its potential. This upgrade is a commercial, ruggedized, off-the-shelf processor that reduces Patriot's operations and maintenance cost while improving its previously impressive reliability by approximately 40 percent. RDP is fully digital, which means that its software can be upgraded to address future threats.
In addition to the RDP, PDB-8 also represents the first U.S. Army fielding of what is known as the Modern Man Station (MMS) and is a user interface with color LCD displays, touch screens and soft keys. Even though not the first time a Patriot partner nation has fielded MMS and RDP, PDB-8 takes full advantages of the hardware upgrades and as a result, the U.S. Army and other PDB-8 users will have the following features and benefits in their Patriot systems:• Enhanced capability against a variety of threats • An improved Identification Friend or Foe capability • Improved radar search capability • Improved target detection and identification • A redesigned Fire Solution Computer, which enables Patriot to take advantage of the PAC-3 MSE missile capabilities • An Enhanced Weapons Computer, which is projected to provide up to 50 percent more processing power for software enhancements, allowing it to address evolving threats by using commercial off-the-shelf processors.
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