Army speeding up electronics overhauls of Patriot anti-ballistic missile

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa., 10 April 2009. U.S. Army technicians at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., over the past several months have tripled the rate at which they overhaul and upgrade electronic subsystems that help the Patriot anti-ballistic missile system separate friends from enemies.

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa., 10 April 2009. U.S. Army technicians at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., over the past several months have tripled the rate at which they overhaul and upgrade missile electronics subsystems that help the Patriot anti-ballistic missile system separate friends from enemies.

Tobyhanna technicians have overhauled as many Patriot missile avionics sets in four months as they normally do in a year, depot officials say, explaining that technicians have completed six Patriot AN/TPX-46A (V)7 interrogator set overhauls 30 days ahead of a February deadline.

"The Patriot system is refurbished at Letterkenny Army Depot and they send us the TPX-46 for repair and overhaul," says John Glatz, chief of the air defense interrogator branch at Tobyhanna. "Letterkenny asked us in early October if we could complete six by the end of February, which is unusual."

The Patriot missile is designed to shoot down enemy aircraft as well as incoming missiles. The interrogator identifies friend and foe (IFF) aircraft. Missiles are identified and tracked with radar. Tobyhanna has been repairing and testing the interrogator for more than 20 years.

"We overhaul the AN/TPX-46 interrogator set, which means they are disassembled, sent to our support shops, reassembled and performance tested," says Franklin Frey, chief of the surveillance division at Tobyhanna. Technicians replace all parts with high failure rates, as well as troubleshoot, repair, test, and replace components as needed.

Tobyhanna technicians also travel to Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., where they install and validate the interrogator in a Patriot Missile System hot mock-up and to Army standards. Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) maintenance and logistics support facility in the U.S. Department of Defense.

For more information contact Tobyhanna Army Depot online at www.tobyhanna.army.mil.

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