Romania is building a plant for the Patriot missile production
Romania has started the deployment of SkyCeptor interceptor missile production for the Patriot SAM.
Thomas Laliberty, Raytheon’s head of ground and air defense systems to Defense Romania, announced the news.
He confirmed that American Raytheon and Romanian Electromecanica Ploiesti signed a second memorandum for the production of Skyceptor interceptor missiles in Romania.
“18 months ago, we signed a memorandum with Electromecanica on the Skyceptor production in Romania. This afternoon [August 1st], Raytheon, the Romanian government, and Electromecanica signed a second memorandum of understanding for the SkyCeptor missile production in Romania,” Laliberty noted.
After the signing, Raytheon and Electromecanica will launch the joint design and construction of a manufacturing facility that will produce SkyCeptor missiles.
The capacities of the future enterprise should cover the needs of the Romanian armed forces and foreign customers. Raytheon expects that the European part of the 19 Patriot operator countries will be supplied with Ploesti-produced missiles.
The Raytheon representative emphasized that the company is intensively working on the transfer of technologies and the provision of technical support for the launch of missile production in Romania.
However, at the initial stage, Skyceptor components will be produced in the USA and Israel, and the final assembly will take place in Romania.
The SkyCeptor interceptor missile is a derivative of the Stunner anti-aircraft missile produced by the Israeli company Rafael. The missile is designed to defeat short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, along with other advanced threats.
According to the manufacturer’s statement, the Stunner missile is capable of hitting targets at a maximum distance of 250 kilometers and an altitude of up to 15 kilometers under ideal conditions. Its maximum speed is Mach 7.5.
The two-stage missile is equipped with a kinetic warhead, which is used to ensure that the interceptor hits the target directly. This technology is used to guarantee the downing of ballistic missiles.
The missile’s asymmetric dolphin-shaped nose is equipped with two guidance sensors: a combined electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and a radar homing system. The ground radar controls the missile from through the onboard data transmission channel for guidance on the marching section of the flight.
The advantage of the new missile, compared to the PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles integrated into the Patriot system, is that the Skyceptor is much cheaper to manufacture and has characteristics comparable to the PAC-3.
Each Stunner missile costs about a million dollars to produce, and the cost of missiles for the Patriot can reach $4 million. The price is an important aspect, as, in addition to complex ballistic targets, the system should also shoot down cheap targets, for example, drones.
To date, Romania has ordered seven long-range Patriot air defense systems from Raytheon for $4 billion. Four of them are already on combat duty.
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