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現代化的"GaN"愛國者飛彈:持續演化的飛彈防禦系統

 愛國者飛彈是經得起考驗而且被信任的飛彈防禦系統。自從超過一個世代之前首次露面,雷神公司的愛國者防空暨反飛彈系統保護著全球各地的國家。「就內部而言,這個系統是經過現代化的、數位化的,而且利用了最新的技術,」愛國者飛彈系統製造商,雷神公司的愛國者系統測試主管布萊恩麥克唐納這樣說。

  據麥克唐納說,新式愛國者飛彈針對下一代需求而進行了翻新和現代化。

 

此一時也彼一時也

  持續的現代化利用最新技術保持愛國者系統趕上時代。「雷達內部已經大量改變而且指揮/管制也提高到現代化利用網路指管的世界」麥克唐納說:「即使愛國者是「老式的」飛彈,但我的團隊近來實彈射擊了一枚使用氮化鎵(GaN;積體電路)技術升級及之科技所導引的愛國者飛彈。」

  雷神公司已投資開發多種使用GaN的技術,包括愛國者系統使用的主動電子掃描陣雷達。基於GaN的電路可以用來建造發射更強力的信號而且具備更高敏感性的雷達。

  這種技術也被用來加強愛國者強化導引飛彈-戰術彈道飛彈(Guidance Enhanced Missile – Tactical;GEM-T)。GEM-T搭載了飛彈全壽期不需重新認證的以GaN為基礎的雷達發射機,該彈可以用來對付飛行器、戰術彈道飛彈以及巡弋飛彈。

 

引進最新技術

  一份被稱為工程服務備忘錄的合同,簡稱ESM,幫助推動愛國者系統的演進。愛國者ESM支援了在競爭性威脅環境中進行防空與反飛彈能力的現代化。「我們的對手們每天都在花費幾十億美元將威脅現代化...愛國者隨著威脅一起演進,而且ESM是達成演進的諸多工具之一,」愛國者工程服務專案主管約翰波提諾說。愛國者ESM包括國際工程服務專案(International Engineering Service Program;IESP)。愛國者IESP是愛國者系統在此一領域長期成功的關鍵性貢獻者。

  波提諾說:「愛國者IESP讓愛國者系統的夥伴們能夠使用分擔成本的模式持續改進系統性能和可靠性」。

 

老經驗的團隊

  在愛國者系統上,團隊內某些人的獨特經驗,可以讓系統更加精進也貼近使用者需求。例如,雷神公司防空暨反飛彈的資深經理奈特瓊斯(Nate Jones),曾經是1990年代早期的原版飛毛腿毀滅者之一。他以美國陸軍准尉的身份服役期間使用愛國者飛彈,現在他是雷神公司防空項目的專家之一。

  「以前要是擁有現在愛國者上的技術,我必定會非常樂意的,」瓊斯說。「戰鬥人員在戰鬥中或者其他作戰任務中,用來拯救生命的先進技術應該像他們日常工作使用的,從使用智慧型手機到玩電子遊戲,一樣的直覺簡便。」

  愛國者系統為美國還有歐洲、環太平洋。以及中東地區15個友邦和盟國提供防空和反飛彈能力。

https://www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com/news/feature/modern-day-patriot

 

A modern-day Patriot

Continuous evolution improves this missile defense system

https://www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com/news/feature/modern-day-patriot

It’s tested and trusted.

Since its debut more than a generation ago, Raytheon’s Patriot™ air and missile defense system protects nations around the world.

“Internally the system is modernized, digital, and takes advantage of the latest technology,” Brian MacDonald, director of testing for Patriot at system maker Raytheon.

It’s overhauled and modernized for the next generation, according to MacDonald.

 

That was then, this is now

Continuous modernization taps the latest technologies to keep the Patriot system relevant in its time.

“The radar has been substantially changed internally and the command-and-control is being brought to the modern, IP-enabled world,” MacDonald said. “Even the 'old' missile – my team recently did a live fire with an upgraded missile that uses gallium nitride, or GaN, (integrated circuit) technology.”

Raytheon has invested in the development of GaN for a number of technologies, including its new active electronically scanned array radar for Patriot. Circuitry based on GaN can be used to build radars that emit stronger signals and boast greater sensitivity.

The tech is also used to enhance the Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile – Tactical Ballistic Missile, or GEM-T. GEM-T is used against aircraft and tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, and uses GaN-based transmitters that do not need to be recertified over the life of the missile.

 

Bringing in the latest tech

A contract document known as the Engineering Services Memorandum, or ESM, helps drive the evolution of the system. Patriot ESM supports Air and Missile Defense modernization in a competitive threat environment.

“Every day our adversaries are spending billions to modernize the threat...Patriot evolves with the threat and ESM is one of the vehicles for doing this,” said John Bottino, director of Patriot Engineering Services Programs. Patriot ESM includes the International Engineering Services Program. The Patriot IESP is a key contributor to the system’s long-term success in the field.

“It enables Patriot partner nations to continually improve system performance and reliability using a shared-cost model,” Bottino said.

 

The experienced team

Some of the folks who work on Patriot have a personal perspective that adds real value to the job.

Nate Jones, a senior manager working on air and missile defense for Raytheon, for example, was one of the original Scud-Busters in the early 1990s. He used Patriot while serving as a U.S. Army chief warrant officer, and now he’s one of the air defense subject matter experts for Raytheon.

“I would have loved to have the modern technology we have on Patriot now,” Jones said. “The advanced technologies warfighters use to save lives in combat or other operational missions should be as intuitive as the technologies they use for everyday tasks, (from) using a smart phone to playing video games.”

Patriot provides air and missile defense for the U.S. and 15 friends and allies in Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East.