Raytheon Selects Spain’s Sener to Make Patriot Interceptor Parts

Defence Industry

Cologne: RTX’s Raytheon selected Spanish engineering and technology group Sener to make a key component of the Patriot air-defence system’s interceptor missile at its Madrid site.

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The contract, announced by the companies on April 29, covers the electro-mechanical control section of the GEM-T missile, one of the interceptor options for the system’s global customer base. The part “provides precise, high-speed steering control for the missile while in flight to intercept,” a spokeswoman for RTX said.

Raytheon’s move to localise component production in Europe follows a contract with NATO, under the COMLOG joint venture together with pan-European missile maker MBDA, for 1,000 GEM-T missiles. The deal, announced in January, could be worth as much as $5.6 billion.

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The mega order is expected to boost the existing Patriot-related industrial ecosystem in Europe, in which Raytheon and MBDA have cooperated for decades.

“For example, COMLOG will expand the production and assembly capacity for the GEM-T missile to include production of the rocket motor, propulsion sections and other components in Germany, and the control section by Sener in Spain,” the spokeswoman said.

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Engineers from Sener and Raytheon will work to “co-develop” the missile control component so that the Spanish company can eventually produce it at its site in Tres Cantos, Madrid, according to a Raytheon statement.

Raytheon’s Spain connection is the second industrial tie-up in that country related to Patriot announced in recent days. Lockheed Martin last week said it would work with Madrid-based Grupo Oesia to make “specialised cables and harnesses” for its PAC-3 MSE missile, a newer and pricier Patriot interceptor that promises greater in-flight maneuverability against incoming threats.

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Air defence capabilities are in high demand in Europe and Ukraine following Russia’s targeting of Ukrainian infrastructure and population centres. The Patriot system, in particular, is considered a hot, but scarce commodity, and production lags far behind demand.