FARNBOROUGH, England — Raytheon has claimed a Patriot anti-missile system used by Saudi Arabia has had a "100 percent success rate" in intercepting missile attacks by Yemeni rebels.
Speaking at the Farnborough Air Show on Tuesday, Ralph Acaba, Raytheon's vice president for Integrated Air and Missile Defense, said the Raytheon system employed by a Saudi-led coalition had successfully handled "well over a couple of dozen intercepts" of missiles over the last year.
"Every target engaged was destroyed," he said.
The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting against Shiite Houthi rebels, which are battling Yemen's recognized government.
There have been numerous reports of the rebels firing ballistic missiles, including Scuds, at coalition or Yemeni government targets. On June 21, the coalition said a ballistic missile fired towards the central Yemeni city of Marib was "destroyed with no damage" by an intercept.
Speaking at Farnborough, Raytheon managers said the firm has meanwhile signed up Poland's leading state-run defense group PGZ as a local partner on Poland's expected Patriot acquisition.
The deal is due to be run as an FMS program.
Raytheon has said it will also offer the system to Germany should Germany decide to backtrack on its decision to buy Lockheed Martin's MEADS system.
It was reported on July 10 that Germany may not finish negotiations over the MEADS system by the end of the year, as was planned.
"A few days ago there was an announcement out of the MoD to parliament that there was a risk that the MEADS contract will not be concluded by the end of this year," said Acaba. "There continue to be challenges in closing that procurement and we stand ready to support the ministry of defense if and when they need us."
Wes Kremer, president of Integrated Defense Systems, said operational use of Patriot, including in Yemen, gave the system an advantage over MEADS, which has yet to be deployed.
"Patriot is a great example of the 13 partner nations working together, and for example Patriot has been engaging ballistic missiles in Yemen," he said.
"And so for each one of those intercepts we learn and we are able to extract data to make our radar algorithms better, and we update our software," he said. "Each of the partners pays in a share into that fund where we update our algorithms, but then its available to all the partners," he said.
"Germany has chosen to go a different path, and as we saw Germany set up milestones that have to be met, and the notification in parliament that they may not meet the contracting milestone shows there are challenges," he added.