The Raytheon-built Patriot air defence system has successfully completed live test firing during the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) annual training exercise, which was held at McGregor Range in New Mexico, US.

Conducted from 22nd September to 3rd November 2012 by approximately 380 JASDF personnel, the annual service practice (ASP) involved Patriot target engagement and live firing under tactical mission environments.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems business Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice president Sanjay Kapoor said results of the exercise demonstrate missile’s operational readiness and collaboration between the government-industry team.

The company aims to provide Japan with advanced air and missile defence capabilities and training for its forces, through close partnerships with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and the US Army, Kapoor added.

The six-week training exercise, which is the 48th edition of the drill, aimed to evaluate JASDF adaptability to modern-day air defence technologies, as reported by Fort Bliss Monitor.

Manufactured by Raytheon, the Patriot is an advanced, high-velocity, air defence missile system designed to intercept an array of incoming tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The missile is also operational with 11 countries worldwide, including the US, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Kuwait, Netherlands, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and UAE, and has also proved its effectiveness during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot missiles, however, MHI serves as the weapon’s prime contractor in Japan and produces guidance enhanced missile and associated ground equipment under a license agreement with Raytheon.

Image: A transporter erector launcher of the Patriot air defence system. Photo: courtesy of Bernd vdB.