Congress understands this. The House Armed Services Committee recently acknowledged both the effectiveness and flexibility of the Patriot system in a subcommittee report — and called on the Army to provide a plan for continuing investment and modernization of the platform.
The focus should be on keeping Patriot up-to-date. These systems are proven to work on the battlefield. Improving them requires substantially fewer resources than designing a new defense system from the ground up.
North Korea’s recent rocket launch may have failed — but that failure by no means marks the end of its drive to attain long-range ballistic missiles.
The good news is that the United States and our allies were ready to protect our assets. The strategy going forward is clear — preserve proven missile defense systems while affordably upgrading them as threats evolve.
Tim Glaeser is vice president for integrated air and missile defense business development at Raytheon, the prime contractor for the Patriot system. He has served with United States air defense forces in Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.