Air Defense: November 7, 2003

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: In 2003, the army says it's Patriot anti-aircraft missiles intercepted the nine Iraqi missiles that came it's way during the Iraq invasion. While the information has not officially been released yet, it is felt that there is ample electronic and physical evidence to back up the claim. The Patriot batteries also shot down two coalition warplanes by accident, and almost fired on a third, which defended itself with an anti-radar missile and stopped the Patriot attack. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Patriot was also fired at incoming Iraqi missiles, but it turned out that the Iraqi SCUD missiles were breaking up as they plunged earthward, and the Patriot's radar and guidance systems couldn't tell the difference between non-explosive missile parts and the very dangerous (and explosive) SCUD warhead. With 12 years to work on those problems, the Patriot appears to be a missile killer now. But the Patriot has yet to fulfill its primary function; shooting down hostile (not friendly) aircraft.

 

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