Patriot missile defense systems were first used in combat during Operation Desert Storm and have since become an invaluable tool for protecting U.S. and allied troops. Many countries around the world now field Patriot missile defense systems. Today, Saudi Arabia has over 100 operational missile intercepts using the Patriot ballistic missile defense system.
2023 Notable Intercepts
May 29, 2023: Ukraine intercepted 11 of what were likely Iskander-M ballistic missiles and 20 drones that were attempting to strike Kyiv.
May 16, 2023: A Patriot battery intercepted six KH-47 “hypersonic” missiles during an attempted missile strike on Kyiv.
May 4, 2023: For the first time, a Ukranian Patriot battery intercepted a Russian KH-47 Kinzhal “hypersonic” missile during a strike on Kyiv.
2021 Notable Intercepts
Febuary 28, 2021: A Saudi Arabian Patriot battery intercepted a ballistic missile and three suicide drones headings torwards Riyadh.
2018 Notable Intercepts
July 24, 2018: An Israeli Patriot missile defense system shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 Fitter that crossed into Israeli airspace.
2017 Notable Intercepts
November 4, 2017: A Saudi Arabian Patriot missile defense system fired at and destroyed an incoming missile launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
April 27, 2017: An Israeli Patriot missile defense system fired at and destroyed a drone target coming out of Syria.
February 15, 2017: Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at an airport in southern Saudi Arabia. The Saudi coalition claimed to have intercepted the missile despite Yemeni reports claiming the missile had struck its target.
January 27, 2017: Saudi Arabia claimed to have used Patriot interceptors to destroy a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen. The missile was reportedly intercepted on its way to the Saudi city of Najran.
2016 Notable Intercepts
November 26, 2016: A missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen was interecepted by a Saudi Patriot missile battery. Reports claim the missile was targeting the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait before it was intercepted.
November 18-November 25, 2016: Saudi Arabia reportedly intercepted 11 Scud SRBMs fired across the Saudi-Yemeni border by Houthi rebels. Many of the missiles were purportedly fired at the Saudi border city of Najran.
November 15, 2016: Saudi Arabia claimed to have shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen. The missile was launched towards the Saudi town of Najran before being intercepted.
October 28, 2016: Saudi Arabia claimed to have shot down a ballistic missile fired towards the holy city of Mecca by Houthi rebels in Yemen. The missile was reported to be launched from the Saada Province before it was intercepted.
October 12, 2016: Saudi Arabia claimed to have shot down a ballistic missile fired into the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
October 9, 2016: Saudi forces claimed to have intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen. One missile was reportedly fired from a location north of Sadah province, the other being launched from Sanaa towards a Saudi coalition base outside of Marib.
September 20, 2016: Saudi forces shot down a Yemeni ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels. The missile was headed toward an air base outside the southern city of Khamees Mushait.
September 12, 2016: Saudi air defense forces shot down a ballistic missile fired from Yemen. The missile was headed towards the Saudi city of Mushait prior to intercept. It was reported that the coalition air force struck the missile’s launch point.
August 15, 2016: A ballistic missile fired by Houthis in Yemen was intercepted by a Patriot air defense system.
August 10, 2016: Saudi Arabia claims to have intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Houthis in Yemen.
July 23, 2016: Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthis in Yemen.
July 4, 2016: Using Patriot, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen that was headed towards the Saudi city of Abha.
May 31, 2016: Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired from Yemen using a Patriot air defense battery.
May 9, 2016: Saudi Arabia intercepts missile from Yemen using a Patriot air defense battery.
February 13, 2016: The Saudi air defense forces intercepted and destroyed a Scud missile launched from Yemen towards Khamis Mishait in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
February 9, 2016: A Saudi Patriot battery shot down a Scud missile fired from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a towards southern Saudi Arabia.
2015 Notable Intercepts
December 27, 2015: The Saudi led coalition intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Sanaa towards the Saudi city of Najran using Patriot missiles.
September 21, 2015: Patriot batteries deployed by the United Arab Emirates successfully intercepted a Tochka missile fired by Yemeni rebels.
August 26, 2015: Patriot missiles operated by the Saudi military in Yemen intercepted a Scud missile aimed at an electricity station in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province.
June 6, 2015: Patriot missiles operated by the Saudi Arabian military shot down a Scud missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Syria 2013 -2015
NATO deployed 5 Patriot batteries to Turkey’s Syrian border to augment its missile defense system. Between 2013 and 2015 several hundred missiles launches were detected and tracked within Syria.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. patriot batteries intercepted a total of nine enemy tactical ballistic missiles.
March 23, 2003: Iraqi forces launch an Ababil-100 tactical ballistic missile (TBM) at coalition forces (4,000 Soldiers and the Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division) in Kuwait. The TBM was destroyed by a Patriot system.
March 21, 2003: An Iraqi tactical ballistic missile was launched at a friendly assembly area in Kuwait, but was destroyed by a Kuwaiti Patriot battery.
Operation Desert Storm
During Operation Desert Storm U.S. Patriot batteries brought down at least 11 enemy missiles. Patriot batteries were also deployed in defense of Israel’s major cities and intercepted incoming missiles.
February 2, 1991: Patriot shoots down Scud over Saudi Arabia.
January 20, 1991: Patriot batteries in Saudi Arabia intercept 9 Scud missiles.
January 18, 1991: Iraq launched a Scud missile towards Dhahran in Eastern Saudi Arabia. The missile was brought down by two Patriot missiles fired by Battery A, 2d Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, 11th Brigade. This was the first anti-missile missile fired during combat operations.
Aegis Combat System has been deployed on U.S. naval vessels for decades to protect against aerial threats at sea. Modern Aegis vessels are equipped with advanced air defense interceptors–such as the Standard Missile-2 and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)–to defend against aerial threats such as combat aircraft and cruise missiles. In the early to mid 2000s, upgraded Aegis vessels acquired the capability to defend against ballistic missiles as well using the Standard Missile-3 interceptor and upgraded software. Today, Aegis BMD-capable vessels provide regional missile defense in critical regions around the globe.
2016 Notable Intercepts
October 12, 2016: The USS Mason, operating alongside the USS Ponce in the Red Sea, was again targeted in a failed cruise missile attack from Yemen. Defensive salvos were fired by the USS Mason to thwart the attack. Two days later, on October 16, the USS Mason was again targeted by an undisclosed number of cruise missiles from Yemen. This time, the USS Mason deployed countermeasures to defend itself.
October 9, 2016: The Aegis destroyer the USS Mason fired two SM-2s and one ESSM to defend against two anti-ship cruise missiles fired from Yemen. During the missile attack, the USS Mason was traveling with the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock.
2008 Notable Intercepts
February 20, 2008: The USS Lake Erie, operating in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii, used an SM-3 interceptor to shoot down a non-functioning U.S. satellite in degrading orbit. The operation safeguarded human life against the uncontrolled reentry of a 5,000 pound satellite containing over 1,000 pounds of hazardous hydrazine propellant.
Widely used in Iraq and Afghanistan, C-RAM has provided timely warning and intercept of more than 2,000 rocket and mortar attacks against C-RAM equipped forward operating bases.
Operation Enduring Freedom
C-RAM was operationally deployed in Iraq in 2005 after the number of indirect fire (IDF) attacks showed the need for the Army to develop and deploy a weapon system similar to the Navy’s Phalanx close in weapon system that defends against anti-ship missiles.
During Operation Enduring Freedom C-RAM was deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, protecting troops and U.S. bases.
In Iraq, Joint Task Force 5-5 provided more than 589 successful warnings and 24 intercepts against enemy IDF attacks.
Since its introduction in March 2011, Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System has over 1,500 successful intercepts and a 90% intercept success rate.
2017 Notable Intercepts
February 8, 2017: Iron Dome intercepts three rockets fired from the Sinai Peninsula.
2015 Notable Intercepts
October 10, 2015: Two rockets intercepted by Iron Dome.
September 29, 2015: Iron Dome intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.
September 18, 2015: Rocket fired at the city of Ashkelon intercepted by Iron Dome battery.
2014 Notable Intercepts
August 14, 2014: Iron Dome marks 1000 successful intercepts since it was deployed in March 2011.
July-August 2014: During Operation Protective Edge 443 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
June 15, 2014: Two Grad rockets fired at Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
2013 Notable Intercepts
October 28, 2013: The Iron Dome shot down a rocket from the Gaza Strip that was fired towards the southern town of Ashkelon.
August 13, 2013: The Israeli military shot down a rocket launched from Egypt by an al-Qaeda linked militant group towards
June 23, 2013: The Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
2012 Notable Intercepts
November 14-21, 2012: During Operation Pillar of Defense the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 300-400 rockets.
2011 Notable Intercepts
April 8, 2011: Iron Dome intercepted 3 rockets from Gaza.
April 7, 2011: Iron Dome successfully intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza marking its first interception.
2017 Notable Intercept
While Israel’s Arrow missile defense system has not been operationally employed against any ballistic missile targets, on March 16 2017, Arrow was reportedly used to successfully intercept a Syrian surface-to-air missile fired at Israeli fighter aircraft.