Romania received its first MIM-104 Patriot fire unit | Defence Database
Romania received its first MIM-104 Patriot fire unit
Posted by: Andrei Dcs on 2020-10-08 14:54:43

Romania has officially received the first MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system out of the seven ordered in 2017.

The reception ceremony organized by the Romanian Air Force took place on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at the National Training Center for Air Defense "Brigadier General Ion Bungescu" in Capu Midia, Constanta County.

Among those present at the event were the Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, the Minister of National Defense, General Nicolae Ciuca, the American Ambassador to Bucharest Adrian Zuckerman, as well as officials of the American company Raytheon.

Picture Author: Mm.Bogdan PANTILIMON, Statul Major al Fortelor Aeriene / Wikimedia Source: [link] / Main Source: [link]

Elements of the first Romanian Patriot system have started to arrive in Romania since August, and this first fire unit will become fully operational within the Romanian Air Force starting with 2021.

Three other Patriot systems out of the seven ordered will enter service with the Romanian Air Force by the end of 2022, and the last three will be operated by the Romanian Land Forces.

In April 2017, Romania decided to purchase seven MIM-104 Patriot fire units, a transaction approved on July 11, 2017 by the US State Department through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

Romania opted for seven MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile systems in the 3+ configuration, the latest hardware and software configuration available at the time of the purchase.

The seven Patriot fire units ordered by Romania include:

- 7 AN/MPQ-65 radar sets
- 7 AN/MSQ-132 engagement control stations
- 13 antenna mast groups
- 28 M903 launching stations (four launchers mounted on seven trucks)
- 56 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM (GEM-T) missiles (PAC-2 GEM-T) (latest version of the PAC-2 interceptor)
- 168 Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles (latest version of the PAC-3 interceptor)
- 7 Electrical Power Plants (EPP) III

The deal, estimated at $3.9 billion, is the most expensive arms purchase in the history of Romania.

Of the total of seven Patriot systems, four will be operated by the Romanian Air Force, and the other three will enter service with the Romanian Ground Forces.

The first four batteries will be operated by the newly established 74 Patriot Regiment, part of the 1st Ground-to-Air Missile Brigade of the Romanian Air Force.

Romania thus becomes the 17th user of the MIM-104 Patriot, followed by Poland and Sweden, which also acquired the famous and high-performance American surface-to-air missile system.

Romania is also the first Patriot user in the Black Sea region.

Within this Patriot acquisition, Romania receives a total of 224 interceptors including 56 PAC-2 GEM-T interceptors as well as 168 PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

The PAC-2 GEM-T (Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM) is the latest version of the PAC-2 interceptor manufactured by the American company Raytheon.

The PAC-2 GEM-T has an operational range of approximately 100 to 160 km and has been designed to intercept mainly different types of aircrafts including fighter jets, bombers but also helicopters or larger drones.

The PAC-2 GEM-T also has limited capabilities to intercept ballistic missiles.

PAC-3 MSE (Missile Segment Enhancement) is the latest variant of the PAC-3 interceptor manufactured by the American company Lockheed Martin.

The PAC-3 interceptor has been designed primarily to intercept ballistic missiles but can also be successfully used against various types of aircrafts including drones, as well as against cruise missiles.

The PAC-3 MSE is smaller than the PAC-2 interceptors, also having a shorter operating range.

The PAC-3 MSE interceptor has an EASA radar as a guidance system and has an operational range of up to 35 km against ballistic missiles.

A Patriot launch truck has a maximum of four canisters to house the interceptors.

A canister can accommodate one PAC-2 GEM-T interceptor or up to four PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

Thus a Patriot launcher station can accommodate a total of four PAC-2 GEM-T interceptors or 16 PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

The new Patriot systems that Romania ordered are interoperable with the MIM-23 Hawk systems that the Romanian military is already using.

Romania has eight Hawk PIP III R air defence batteries, which it plans to modernize to the Hawk XXI standard.

Now, among the prioritary programs of the Romanian Armed Forces are the SHORAD/VSHORAD program and the acquisition of portable MANPADS systems.

The Romanian Ministry of Defense will soon launch the SHORAD/ VSHORAD program, which provides for the purchase of 27 short-range and very short-range surface-to-air missile systems, a program estimated at 2.7 billion euros without VAT.

The SHORAD/VSHORAD program is extremely important, these systems representing an essential component in order to achieve a modern stratified anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system for the protection of Romania's airspace.

In addition, MApN will also purchase 138 portable MANPADS systems.

With this future stratified national defense system and by hosting the Aegis Ashore anti-balistic shield in Deveselu, Romania will contribute by extension to the defense of the other NATO allies and European Union members in the region.