The Patriot Missile System: The Persian Gulf War

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Scuds on Scope Air Defense had a prominent involvement in The Persian Gulf War. The Patriot missile system demonstrated its effectiveness in combat in 1990 and United States (U.S.) forces as well as Iraqi forces utilized the Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) missile system. Air Defense’s considerable involvement in the Persian Gulf War accredited to the developments and capabilities of the Patriot missile system along with the HAWK missile system’s Iraqi dilemma. First of all, The Patriot missile system played a vital role during the Persian Gulf War. The Persian Gulf War was a short war from 2 August 1990 to 28 February 1991. Colonel Joseph G. Garrett, the 11th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade Commander was the Air Defense…show more content…
After a decision was made in 1984 by the army to give it an anti-tactical ballistic missile capability, a series of modifications and additions were made to the system's software and to the missile warhead and fuse (pac-2). These upgrades were then fully tested, manufactured and deployed in Saudi Arabia on time for Desert Storm. This system was designed to defend military targets such as bases against relatively short-range tactical ballistic missiles," Charles A. Zraket articulates before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations. (Simon, 1996) The U.S. Army’s mission during the Persian Gulf War was to shoot down incoming Al-Hussein missiles and Iraqi scud missiles. The mission in Saudi Arabia differed from the Israel mission because Patriot units only had to push the missile away from its intended target or disable the incoming targets warhead. Disabling the warhead ensured minimal casualties as the scuds would typically target military outposts or civilian populations. The overall success rate of the Patriot missile system during the Persian Gulf War was 70% in Saudi Arabia and 40% in Israel. (Simon,…show more content…
Even with these systems at the enemies’ hands, they were never able to successfully take down the coalition aircraft. The system has deployed various times in several conflicts around the globe. “Although HAWK missile batteries were deployed by the U.S. Army during the conflicts in Vietnam and Persian Gulf, American troops have never fired this weapon in combat”(United, n.d.). The only reason that U.S. troops never engaged targets, was because there was a lack of need for it. For instance, there were many Scud missile launches during the Persian Gulf War, however Patriot battalions were in place to defend against Scuds. Meanwhile, HAWK is an Air-Breathing target weapon, which the enemy did not have access to at the time. The HAWK missile system has a fairly short history compared to many other weapons and Units. At only 35 years of Army service, it was short lived and underutilized. The missile system spent most of its time in the Army National Guard (ARNG) rather than active service. This was mainly due to its high mobility and ease of deployment, making it less cost effective to have active component units. HAWK is a highly praised Surface to Air Missile (SAM) system, but is no longer in the U.S. Army’s arsenal. However, countries such as Sweden, Japan and several Asian Pacific countries are still utilizing
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