The first vehicles that will form part of Sweden’s new Patriot air and missile defense system have been handed over to the armed forces.
Delivery of the first of a total of 40 different vehicles took place in April, while the entire system comprising four Patriot Configuration 3+ modernized fire units, Patriot MIM-104E guidance enhancement missile-TBM missiles and Patriot advanced capability-3 missile segment enhancement missiles will be delivered by fall this year.
The vehicles are manufactured in Austria under a contract with RMMV (Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles).
The vehicles will initially be used for the transport of semi-trailers with trailers, radar and line containers. They will start to be used during the summer at a so-called SICO (System Integration and Check Out) and during the training on the new system.
The MAN HX vehicles for the air defense system are based on a common vehicle platform on an all-wheel drive 4-axle vehicle and are specially adapted for the Patriot in the flatbed, tractor and crane truck versions. The vehicle is called HX 8×8 and is built for Swedish conditions, Arctic temperatures and has a high mobility in different types of terrain with good wading properties.
After the Swedish defense ministry announced the delivery of the trucks, Lockheed Martin revealed on May 10 that it delivered the country’s first Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors in April.
“By choosing PAC-3 MSE for missile defense, our customers around the world know they have the combat-proven technology needed to stay ahead of rapidly-evolving threats,” said Brenda Davidson, vice president, PAC-3 Programs, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We’re proud to deliver this advanced capability to Sweden so they can best defend their armed forces, citizens and infrastructure.”
Sweden acquired the US-built Patriot system over the European Eurosam SAMP/T system in August 2018.
Patriot consists of radars, command-and-control technology and multiple types of interceptors. The radar at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target,” which is an acronym for PATRIOT.
In addition to Sweden, current or future Patriot operators include the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Romania, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Bahrain and Germany.
The PAC-3 MSE missiles Sweden is buying are the most advanced variant, improving upon the original PAC-3 capability with a higher performance solid rocket motor, modified lethality enhancer, more responsive control surfaces, upgraded guidance software and insensitive munitions improvements.
Patriot will be known as Luftvärnssystem 103 (Anti-air system 103) in Swedish service.