Though, after a system-wide upgrade, improving the Patriot’s ability to detect, track, and discriminate between targets, Israel’s Patriot™ batteries, known locally as Yahalom, or diamond, were called into action four times. In July, during the course of the 50-day Operation Protective Edge, it downed two Hamas operated drones sent into Israel from Gaza; in August it shot down a Syrian drone over the Golan Heights and, in September, it intercepted a Syrian Sukhoi SU-24 warplane that had crossed into Israeli airspace near Quneitra.
In future conflicts, as Israel completes its multi-tiered missile-defense system, the Patriot batteries will likely shift away from missile interception. The system, built by the US firm Raytheon and tactically deployed for the first time in 1984, covers the mid-range missile threat, much like the David’s Sling system, which is expected to be made operational in 2015. The Patriot, to which the US and Israel have introduced upwards of 30 improvements in recent years, an IDF officer told the IAF quarterly magazine in 2013, will likely be shifted back to its original goal: defending against manned and unmanned aircraft. […]
[…] But the Patriot, […] has proven itself as an immovable part of Israel’s air defense reality.