US military begins year-long test of upgraded Patriot missile system


The US military has started its year-long test of the latest Patriot missile system upgrades at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Various software and hardware updates have been applied to the system. The friendliest Fighter-machine interface was also developed for its control system to train soldiers faster.

The interface provides a simplified 3D game-style view of complex defense data for battlefield operators. It features status pages and search functions to replace pixelated shapes and the complex system directory.

The test included 65 soldiers and 135 members of the government.

“Easier to pick up”

White Sands Missile Range 3-6 Air Defense Artillery Test Unit led the evaluation. The team gained first-hand experience with the weapons system, including running it through multiple simulations, environments, and live-fire tests.

“I think it’s a lot more beneficial for incoming soldiers who are newer to the branch,” said Sgt. Angel Quinones said.

“It’s much easier to grasp. It would also be very easy to train with, instead of (like) us training them to memorize a whole database, we just need to know the keywords now,” the sergeant added.

WMI replaces pixelated shapes and a complex directory system with t3D visuals, easy-to-read status pages, and search functions that any gamer would find familiar. Photo: Raytheon

Preliminary review of the update began in early June this year to ensure the capability is ready.

It was led by personnel from the Air and Missile Defense Test Directorate of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command and several government agencies.

Patriot missile system

The Patriot Missile System (MIM-104) is one of the US military’s primary air and missile defense systems. It was conceptualized in 1961 and entered full-scale production in 1980.

The system was originally designed as an anti-aircraft system, but later iterations are now capable of engaging cruise and ballistic missiles, roving munitions, and aircraft in all weather conditions and environments.

Today, 18 countries function the Patriot missile system.

Current Patriot variants are compatible with CIP-2 and CIP-3 interceptors, successors to the PAC-1 missiles deployed by older versions of Patriot. The new PAC missiles have been upgraded to keep pace with the ongoing Patriot updates.


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