The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile developed by the U.S. Raytheon (SAM). Partiot stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target. From 1984 the Patriot replaced the Nike Hercules and the MIM-23 Hawk. Patriot-systems were delivered to the U.S.A., the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South-Korea and the United Arab Emirates. By second hands sale the Patriots are also in use by Poland, Jordan and Egypt.
The Patriot is designed for air defence to an altitude of 20 kilometers and a range of 60 kilometers. The Patriot reaches a speed of mach 5. The Royal Netherlands Airforce has PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles (Patriot Advanced Capability).
PAC-2, developed by Raytheon, is effective against aircraft and is 5 meters in length with a diameter of 41 centimeter and a weight of 900 kilo. It has a warhead of 91 kilo and a detonator. It detonates near the target that is destroyed by a cloud of fragments.
PAC-3, developed by Lockheed Martin, is used against ballistic missiles and is 5 meters in lenght with a diameter of 25 centimeter and a weight of 312 kilo. It doesn't have a warhead but eliminates it's target by flying against it at high speed.
The Royal Netherlands Airforce has a squadron with three firing units. A firing unit consists of a radar, a firing command headquarters, two generators, six launch systems and a command post. Also it includes a couple of communication and maintainance personnel. A launcher can contain up to 4 PAC-2 or 16 PAC-3 rockets.
Dutch Patriots were deployed in Turkey and Israel during the gulfwar of 1991 and in Turkey during the gulfwar of 2003. In 2012 the Dutch Patriots protected the south Turkish town Adana against missile attacks from Syria for two years.