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02 June 2016

ILA 2016: German Missile Defence PATRIOT Centre Announced

At a Raytheon press conference on Wedensday at ILA 2016, the company announced a German Missile Defence PATRIOT Centre (Zentrum für Integrierte Luftverteidigung), with Raytheon Anschütz in Kiel as the lead. With an imminent focus on missile defence offers for Germany and Poland, the company wants to establish an opportunity for Germany to create new jobs and to manage appropriate levels of technology transfer, two issues the German government is keen on seeing brought to resolution.

A model of the PATRIOT GaN AESA radar is being exhibited in display area D1, which is directly across from Chalet 27-28, the Raytheon Chalet. (Photos: Mönch)

Shortly before ILA, an MoU was signed between Raytheon IDS and Raytheon Anschütz. In the long term, the Missile Defence Centre could become the focal point for all PATRIOT activities throughout Europe, not merely in Germany. Raytheon Anschütz will therefore be the contract partner for the German MoD for all related activities and will be responsible for an active search for German organisations to add to the supply chain. Raytheon Anschütz already has more than 500 of its employees dedicated to the PATRIOT programme, and Raytheon Anschütz CEO Dr. Lüder Hogrefe explains that the current goal is to improve communications, to become faster in response and to be more cost-effective. In addition, Dr. Hogrefe committed to establishing a project management system that will keep any potential Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem (TVLS)-PATRIOT project on time and within budget.

During the press conference Raytheon emphasised the current reality that nations have specific sovereign requirements and therefore seek custom-made solutions. “Raytheon can and will deliver a PATRIOT Made in Germany,” said Tim Glaeser, Vice President Raytheon IDS. TVLS-PATRIOT will be the fallback position on stand-by, if the current milestones of TVLS-MEADS can´t be met. Raytheon is engaged in an ongoing enhancement programme for PATRIOT and is ready to step in on very short notice. As part of the improvements, a life-sized mock-up of the next-generation PATRIOT is shown in front of the Raytheon chalet, for the first time ever. The company's new radar technology, Gallium Nitride (GaN) AESA radar, is designed to provide the PATRIOT with a 360° view on the battlefield and is currently undergoing long term tests with the US Army.

Dr. Hogrefe also promised an open C2 architecture, meaning external and third party systems can be integrated into PATRIOT, with the DIEHL BGT Defence IRIS-T SL cited as an example. To date, however, this integration has not been started. An additional benefit would be adjusting the PATRIOT missile mix to include Raytheon’s Guidance Enhanced Missile TBM (GEM-T), Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE. Further potential German partners could include Rheinmetall, LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH (missile maintenance), and even MBDA. The latter company is currently improving the launcher for South Korea.

PATRIOT is faster, more cost-effective and with less risk – altogether approved,” said Hogrefe. Thanks to the 13 user nations with over 220 launch units, upgrades and further developments would be much cheaper for a single nation. Germany, for example, would contribute 10% of the total cost but, like any other participating nation, would receive 100% of the resulting benefits. According to Dr. Hogrefe the PATRIOT life-cycle costs are much lower than those of TVLS-MEADS – even though the Luftwaffe come to a different conclusion. The Polish government has recently rethought the extent to which PATRIOT is appropriate for its WISLA Air Defence programme, although Raytheon is continuing to try to stimulate talks through the US Army. The latest available configuration is PATRIOT 3+, to which the Netherlands and Germany are planning to upgrade by 2018, even if Germany has so far not signed a contract.

Responding to questions regarding the opportunities for job creation in Germany, Dr. Hogrefe said: “We will transfer 50 to 100 jobs from the US to Germany if the 3+ configuration contract is signed. If PATRIOT-TVLS is selected that could be 500+ jobs.” Glaeser added: “And on top of that there is the issue of technology. Please also keep in mind the PATRIOT of today can meet or exceed all requirements MEADS was planned for.” According to Raytheon there was a fixed price offer to the Bundeswehr in the value of €2.2 billion, should they choose TVLS-MEADS.

Tim Glaeser, Vice President Raytheon IDS and Dr. Lüder Hogrefe, CEO Raytheon Anschütz announced a possible Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem (TVLS)-PATRIOT project in time and cost frame.