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April 25, 2012

Israel to equip its Patriot system with new eyes

The Israel Air Force (IAF) is planning to upgrade its Patriot missile defence system with new cameras to assist the batteries in providing a more exact aerial image of targets including planes, missiles and UAVs.

Patriot missile defence system

The Israel Air Force (IAF) is planning to upgrade its Patriot missile defence system with new cameras to assist the batteries in providing a more exact aerial image of targets including planes, missiles and UAVs.

Aerial Defense Formation Headquarters Patriot division head captain Matan Shalom said: "The cameras were purchased in order to respond to a need for improved radar location and aerial photo construction."

"The cameras will be added as a part of a general upgrade that the Patriot is receiving, which includes adding new capabilities and maintaining systems that already exist," Shalom added.

As part of the overall facelift and general capability update programme, the Aerial Defense Formation claims that the new advanced cameras will boast night-vision and far-range recognition capabilities for the Air Force.

The Patriot, a mid-tier component of Israel’s multi-layered missile defence system, is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather, surface-to-air missile (SAM) defence system capable of destroying tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft systems.

Jointly produced by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, the missile defence system features advanced aerial interceptor missiles and high-performance radar systems.

The IAF uses the Iron Dome for intercepting short-range rockets and Arrow 2 for long-range ballistic missiles.

The nation has plans to replace the Patriot with a longer range missile defence system, David’s Sling, which is currently being developed by RAFAEL and Raytheon.

The missile, which became operational in 1991, is also in service in Taiwan, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Spain.

Image: A Patriot SAM defence system is being launched to destroy tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft systems. Photo: IAF.

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