MIM-104 Patriot

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A Patriot missile is fired.

The MIM-104 Patriot Missile system is a surface-to-air missile which is used against aircraft and missiles at all altitudes. PATRIOT is the acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept Of Target. (A more far-fetched abbreviation is Protection Against Threats, Real, Imagined, Or Theorized.) It was designed by Raytheon as an anti-aircraft missile, but its primary role today is ballistic missile defense. Each battery costs about $1 billion, and a single missile can cost several million dollars. A single battery has 8 launchers and can launch up to 16 missiles.[1]

As a mobile system, it takes about 25 minutes to set up once it reaches the launch site. By contrast, the Russian S-400 takes 5 minutes.

The missile system has been sold to over 15 countries, including Taiwan, Israel, Kuwait, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

In May 2023, video evidence showed a Patriot Missile battery had been destroyed at the Kyiv airport by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile[2] The missile battery fired off some 31 Patriot missiles at a cost of $3 million each in less than 2 minutes in an effort to avoid having its ammunition stocks hit.[3]. However Western propaganda sources claimed the launchers had been only damaged[4][5], and supposedly repaired several days later[6].


In 1976, the Armys SAM-D (Surface-to-Air Missile, Development) program was renamed the PATRIOT program. The tests at the White Sands Missile Range were successful, and the Patriot was deployed in 1984. Although it served for a while as an anti-aircraft system, it was upgraded in 1984 and changed to an anti-ballistic missile weapon.

NATO war in Ukraine

See also: NATO war in Ukraine
Patriot missile system attempts to unload all its live ammo before a Russian missile hits at the Kyiv airport, May 16, 2023.

In July 5, 2024 Lt. Gen Andrey Semyonov, deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces told TASS news agency that American-made Patriot long-range missile systems supplied to Ukraine failed even to protect themselves:

That contrasts with the much-vaunted Patriot air defense systems, which were supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries and, as the experience of the special military operation showed, proved unable not only to protect the designated sites, but also to counter modern Russian means of destruction, that is, to protect themselves.[7]

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