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New Obsolescent Parts Keep Patriot Missiles Flying


TEMPE, ARIZONA - Used to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles, the Patriot missile system is once again being deployed by the U.S. Army in anticipation of a new war with Iraq. The Patriot is described as the world's most advanced ground-based air defense weapons platform.
First line of defense - Patriot missile batteries like this one rely on semiconductor products that are no longer manufactured by mainline sources, but are sourced instead by Lansdale Semiconductor for replacement and repair.

Built by Raytheon and combat-proven during Operation Desert Storm, the Patriot is designed as a long-range, high-altitude, all-weather system to destroy advanced hostile threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Patriot is capable of engaging and destroying multiple targets simultaneously.

This system can eliminate all air-borne threats under most severe electronic counter measure field combat conditions.

The Patriot was best known as the "Scudbuster" during the 1991 Gulf War. Facing current mounting threats of military action between Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the U.S. led armed forces in the Middle East, America has deployed countless numbers of Patriot missile batteries throughout the Persian Gulf region to respond to and deter any preemptive attacks by Iraqi airborne weapon systems.

Aging Defense Systems

As the original Patriot target acquisition, guidance, radar detection, and other computer systems age, companies like Lansdale Semiconductor, Inc., continue to produce and supply diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS), obsolete-but-critical application integrated circuits (ICs) replacement and repair electronic components to the Patriot and numerous other U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) systems deployed worldwide.

"With more and more original equipment manufacturers (OEM) exiting the mature, end-of-life (EOL) military chip making business, Lansdale has become the largest supplier of `semiconductor aftermarket' military ICs. This assures the DOD with on-going support to the nation's critical long-life programs for present and future specific military IC products. The Patriot air and missile defense system engineered by Raytheon and equipped with Lansdale high-rel, high-performance ICs and other American defense contractor components play a vital role that protects both our homeland and our deployed forces against hostile action," stated Lansdale president, R. Dale Lillard.

As semiconductor manufacturers develop more complex products, processes and manufacturing equipment, the life cycles of the products become shorter. This, combined with the lengthy design, qualification and procurement cycle of complex electronics systems, forces contractors into expensive redesigns and end-of-life buys. Lansdale purchases these product lines and continues to support them, which is of great benefit to the DoD, by reducing end-of-life buys and preventing unnecessary redesigns caused by lack of product.

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