The Effectiveness of the Patriot Missile
The Patriot Missile Proved the Effectiveness of Missile Defense
Most everyone who lived through the Gulf War has heard of the Patriot missile. The Patriot missile became famous for its proven ability to shoot down incoming enemy missiles headed toward U.S. forces and Israel. The Patriot missile became a well recognized and praised missile defense system during the Gulf War. However, the Patriot missile system was not new when the Gulf War broke out. The Patriot was originally designed to be an anti-aircraft missile system first introduced in 1984.
It was during the Gulf War, however, when the Patriot missile defense system was modified to shoot down incoming missiles, that it received such notoriety, and for good reason. The Patriot had a 100 percent success rate during the Gulf War. The Patriot missiles shot down all 34 Scud missiles at which they were fired. They even successfully shot down a barrage of Scud missiles fired into Saudi Arabia at one time.
Surprisingly, during the 1980s, Congress debated whether or not to convert the Patriot missiles from anti-aircraft to missile interceptors. By allowing these missile defense systems to be created from the Patriot missile systems, thousands of lives were saved during the Gulf War. Without a doubt, the Patriot missile proved its worth as a viable and capable missile defense system against ballistic missile threats.
For more on the Patriot missile and other defensive weapons the U.S. military is developing, read the article Congress Bickered Over Weapons Now Proving Themselves in the Gulf . These weapons and missile defense systems have not only proven their capabilities in the Gulf War, but most recently to save lives in the Iraq War as well.