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IDF upgrades Patriot missile defense battery
By YAAKOV KATZ
11/27/2011
New battery part of effort to improve defense against new potential conflicts in the region.
 
Israel recently received a new Patriot missile defense battery as part of a bid to improve its defenses in face of potential new conflicts in the region.

The battery arrived in Israel over a month ago. Its arrival was first revealed in Yediot Aharonot on Friday. The new battery will be dismantled and parts will be used to upgrade existing batteries already deployed throughout the country.

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The Patriot currently serves as the mid-tier component of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense system. Short-range rockets are intercepted by the Iron Dome and the Arrow 2 is the top tier, designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles.

In July, the IAF announced that it was upgrading the Patriot with new software updates and hardware changes. The purpose of the upgrade is to enable the Patriot launchers and accompanying components to operate the system’s new generation of interceptors which are used by the new generation Patriot called PAC 3.

Israel’s existing launchers can fire four missiles, and once upgraded to accommodate PAC 3 interceptors, they will be able to fire 16 missiles each: four missiles in each of the launcher’s four canisters.

The IAF eventually plans on phasing out the Patriot missile systems and replacing them with the David’s Sling, a missile defense system currently under development by Rafael and the US-based Raytheon.

David’s Sling is expected to have a longer range than the Patriot and will also one day replace the Hawk surface-to-air missile systems in air defense missions.
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