The Spanish Government has received confirmation of a request to purchase four Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units and anti-aircraft missiles. The total estimated cost is $2.8 billion.
According to the published document, Spain intends to acquire four sets of AN/MPQ-65 radars, four AN/MSQ-132 combat control stations and 24 Patriot M903 launch stations, generators, and other related equipment.
In addition, 51 PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles will be ordered for these systems. These missiles can intercept long-range ballistic missiles thanks to an integrated active radar guidance system and a kinetic warhead.
The Spanish army currently has three Patriot PAC-2 missile systems, each comprising six M901 launchers (18 in total).
The purchase of additional systems will allow Spain to acquire new capabilities to counter complex maneuverable and ballistic targets and significantly expand its ground-based air defense network.
One of the three Spanish batteries has been deployed at the Incirlik air base (Turkey) since 2015 as part of military support to NATO forces. The other two batteries are at the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment No. 73 service in Marines (Valencia) where the Patriot Group is located, and are considered strategic for national defense.
The Spanish Patriots are known to have already crossed the end of their service life and are in need of major repairs and modernization.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense has been working for a long time on a program to restore and modernize the Patriot from the PAC-2 version to the PAC-3, for which 1.4 billion euros have been allocated in the 2023 General State Budgets. This should provide them with the ability to intercept ballistic missiles.
The Patriot missile long-range air defense system is an all-altitude, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. The missile has a range of 70 kilometers and a maximum altitude of more than 24 kilometers. The minimum flight time is less than nine seconds, while the maximum is three and a half minutes.
The new PAC-3 missile has increased its effectiveness against tactical ballistic and cruise missiles through the use of advanced technology. The missile’s guidance system allows the target to be destroyed using the kinetic energy released by hitting the target head-on. One launcher can carry 16 PAC-3 missiles, compared to four missiles for the PAC-2.