(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - May 24, 2009: The United States confirmed Thursday it still plans deploy a Patriot missile battery to Poland, regardless of what happens with plans for a European leg of the US missile defense shield. Patriot upgrades continue, with the most recent being new software known as PDB-6 (PDB standing for "Post Deployment Build"). This software will allow configuration 3 units to discriminate targets of all types, to include anti-radiation missile carriers, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missiles. The PAC-3 missile is currently undergoing testing for a significant new upgrade, currently referred to as "MSE" or "Missile Segment Enhancement". The upgrade includes a new fin design and a new, more powerful rocket engine. The modification is alleged to increase the operational capability of the current PAC-3 missile up to 50% and is scheduled to be added to all existing PAC-3 missile stores by 2008. Lockheed Martin has proposed an air launched variant of the PAC 3 missile for use on the F-15C. Other aircraft, such as the F-22 and P-8A Poseidon have also been proposed. Further upgrades to the dual-TWT radar set, the JTIDS uplink, and the system's processors and memory are scheduled to take place in the next few years. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said President Barack Obama was "committed to carrying out the terms" of a security agreement signed last year with Poland. "We're committed to supporting Poland's defense needs, including NATO inter-operability," Kelly said. "We remain committed to, specifically to rotating in a battery, a Patriot battery." Poland had made deployment of a Patriot air defense battery a condition for the deployment of elements of the US missile defense system in its territory. But Kelly stressed that the agreement with the Poles was "independent" of plans to deploy 10 long-range interceptor missiones in Poland by the end of 2012, and a powerful targeting radar in the Czech Republic -- a project Russia vehemently opposes. In April, US President Barack Obama said he would move forward with the missile defense plan developed by the previous administration as long as a missile threat from Iran persists. But he said the system must be cost-effective and proven to work. In Warsaw, Polish deputy defense minister Stanislaw Komorowski said a battery of 96 Patriot surface-to-air missiles will be deployed in Poland before the end of the year, if the two countries reach an agreement on the legal status of US forces in Poland. "Everything indicates that we will be able to conclude negotiations in July," he said. "That would leave enough time for a Patriot battery and about 100 US soldiers to be deployed in Poland by the end of the year."
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