TEWKSBURY, Mass., April 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has authorized a second recertification of Patriot missiles, extending the operational life of missiles in inventory to 45 years from 30 years.
Raytheon, maker of the missile system, said the authorization means military forces using the system can recertify or upgrade instead of replacing them with other missiles.
"This is a testament to Patriot's capabilities and combat performance that continue to exceed all expectations, now and over its successful operational life," said Sanjay Kapoor, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business.
"This significant life extension decision by the Army comes on the heels of a recent $46.7 million U.S. Army contract awarded to Raytheon to recertify and upgrade Patriot missiles to the latest GEM-T configuration as part of the continuous Patriot modernization effort."
The Patriot air and missile defense system is operational with 12 countries. Raytheon, the prime contractor for domestic and international Patriot programs, says it has continuously upgraded the underlying technology and operational capability to counter high-speed tactical ballistic missiles and air-breathing threats.