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The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the Raytheon Company of the United States. The Patriot System replaced the Nike Hercules System as the U.S. Army's primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) platform, and replaced the HAWK System as the U.S. Army's medium tactical air defense platform. In addition to these roles, Patriot has assumed the role as the U.S. Army's anti-ballistic missile (ABM) platform, which today is Patriot's primary mission.
Patriot uses an advanced aerial interceptor missile and high performance radar systems. Patriot was developed at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, which had previously developed the Safeguard ABM system and its component Spartan and Sprint missiles.
The name 'Patriot' can also be referred to as an acronym, taken from the phrase Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept Of Target. The other bacronym was Protection Against Threats, Real, Imagined, Or Theorized. The symbol for Patriot is a drawing of a Revolutionary War-era Minuteman.
Patriot systems have been sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Greece, Egypt, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Spain. The Republic of Korea is also in the process of purchasing several second-hand Patriot systems after the North Koreans test-launched several ballistic missiles to the Sea of Japan and went ahead with underground nuclear testing in 2006