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Patriot System Dependability Questioned

The U.S. Defense Department and Army have reached differing conclusions on the dependability of the Patriot air-defense system, Inside Defense reported on Monday.

"There have been 11 Patriot reliability tests since 1999 and only one showed that Patriot met its reliability requirement," Pentagon spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea told Inside the Army last week by e-mail.

The Army countered that information from deployed units offered stronger dependability findings for the system intended to destroy incoming ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and hostile fighter jets. "Data provided from the units substantiates that the system is performing within acceptable parameters in a tactical environment," according to Army spokesman Dan O'Boyle.

Pentagon operational test and evaluation chief Michael Gilmore cautioned in a yearly report issued in January that the military branch's findings "may not be accurate" as written inquiries to Patriot personnel do not address key operational matters, Elzea said.

The United States has sold Patriot batteries to a number of partner nations and has deployed them to various locations, most recently Turkey.

 

 

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