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Chapter 5


This chapter discusses Patriot unit's offensive and defensive operations. It describes how Patriot is employed in the corps and EAC to protect forces, critical maneuver assets, and geopolitical assets, and how the Patriot's remote launch (RL) capability and how the capability is used to increase defensive coverage and maintain firepower when critical equipment is lost. It also describes air and missile defense task force (AMDTF) operations and the role Patriot units play in planning and executing these operations. Finally, it describes Patriot unit C3I operations and Patriot units' management of the air and missile battle.


5-1. During offensive operations, Patriot units' missions are to provide air and missile defense of critical assets. To support an offensive ground operation, EAC Patriot may be deployed to augment the corps ADA brigade by protecting corps rear area assets. This allows corps ADA units to concentrate their efforts forward providing weighted protection to the corps' main effort. This may involve fighting Patriot as units or forming an AMD task force, depending on METT-TC. In addition, forward-deployed Patriot units, belonging either to the corps or to EAC, influence the corps deep battle by augmenting corps and division ADA units with greater firepower and range. Patriot units' ability to simultaneously engage large numbers of attacking aircraft, TBMs, standoff jammers, and specific aircraft at relatively long ranges, allows the ground commander freedom to execute the deep battle.

5-2. Patriot commanders should consider and plan for long-range engagements against enemy aircraft attack packages. While the Patriot system's probability of kill (Pk) may be reduced for such targets, the disruptive effect may be worthwhile especially against a poorly trained or motivated enemy.

5-3. Patriot units should attempt to identify enemy aircraft packages, recognize the flight leaders, and selectively engage them, either before or after attack by friendly AD fighters. This type of engagement requires extensive coordination. Coordination is made through the identification and engagement authority of that theater. Synchronization of effort will yield better protection of friendly units and assets.

5-4. Patriot units in the forward area should make the most of the system's capability against the jamming threat. Specific batteries should be designated for the mission of engaging standoff jammers, as this type of engagement reduces the system's ability to simultaneously engage aircraft and TBMs. For more details on SOJC engagements, see FM 3-01.87.

5-5. Patriot battalions may be task organized with THAAD batteries to form air and missile defense task forces (AMDTF). While the focus is on the TBM fight, Patriot will retain its traditional air and missile defense mission and, in fact, expand the threat set, which it is designed to protect against. Normally the AMDTF will employ Patriot to protect the THAAD battery from all aircraft threats, CM threats, ARMs, and short range TBMs.


5-6. Corps Patriot battalions and batteries providing air defense to offensive operations must maintain air defense over the corps main effort to preserve the initiative. Top priorities are providing protection to the maneuver units that form the main effort and to their support facilities, C3, logistics operations, and reserve forces. The Patriot battalion participates in the integrated theater air defense, which gives it access to early warning and intelligence information critical to the offensive effort and to the effectiveness of corps and divisional ADA units.


5-7. The main objective of enemy air operations against friendly offensive operation is to destroy our ability to synchronize. The main threats to offensive operations that Patriot must be prepared to counter are—

  • The TBM threat that targets critical corps and theater assets.

  • The FW threat that attempts to target the same critical assets.

  • RW jammers and attack helicopters that penetrate short-range air defense (SHORAD) units.

  • Direct actions by special operation forces.

  • Electronic attack against Patriot C2 and radar systems.

  • The enemy's potential use of air platforms for reconnaissance and targeting.

  • UAVs that can be used for attack, surveillance, deception, jamming, decoy, or harassment operations. They can be also be used against targets or in support of other forces conducting offensive operations.


5-8. Alert states represent the degree of readiness of ADA units, from the time of alert notification, to the time of engagement capability or battle stations. The decision as to which to degree of readiness to implement is METT-TC dependent and determined by the commander in coordination with the JFACC, AADC or AAMDC as appropriate. Additionally alert states may be used to specify personnel and manning requirements. Utilizing alert states allows for maximum flexibility to conduct training or maintenance while meeting mission requirements.


5-9. Rules of engagements (ROEs) are the positive and procedural management directives that specify circumstances and limitations under which forces will initiate or continue combat engagements. The JFC approves all theater ROEs. These established ROEs enable the AADC to retain control of the air battle by prescribing the conditions in which the engagements take place. ROEs apply to all warfare participants in the theater and go to all echelons of air, land, and sea forces.


5-10. The supported commander's intent is the driving force for Patriot employment during offensive operations. Offensive operations during force-projection operations may be extremely fluid. Patriot units can expect rapid transition from defensive to offensive or to exploitation operations. Deep operations and rear area battles are likely to be conducted simultaneously. To support such fluid operations, Patriot must move quickly and efficiently to provide air defense of friendly attacking forces and their support base. When risk must be taken, battalion commanders may influence the battle by pushing the flow of missiles and fuel to batteries most likely to have a positive effect on the battle, while restricting the flow of those assets to batteries facing less opposition. Launching stations may be redirected from one unit to another to allow heavily engaged units to continue the fight.


5-11. An attacking force is most vulnerable to air attack during a movement to contact. Because Patriot units cannot shoot on the move, and move more slowly than other corps maneuver units, positioning must be planned in detail before the operation begins. Patriot coverage of highly mobile movements to contact can be maintained by several methods.

5-12. Forward coverage. Patriot batteries may be placed close to the line of departure (LD) for two reasons. This ensures that initial coverage can be maintained for at least several hours, and it places batteries in the forward area where they must be at the onset if they expect to be able to cover a mobile force when it contacts the enemy force. Once the force has crossed the LD, Patriot units must have priority for movement to ensure movement in a timely manner in order to provide coverage.

5-13. Detailed planning. Before the operation begins, the battalion S3 should identify, by map reconnaissance or other means, as many suitable positions for Patriot batteries as possible along the axis of advance. Each battery should know in advance which positions it will most likely occupy, and when they should be operational. Actual use of these positions is dependent upon reconnaissance by the battery's reconnaissance, selection, and occupation of position (RSOP) team. See Appendix G for RSOP guidance and checklists. For this reason, battery RSOP teams and battalion survey crews should be considered for placement with lead elements as a means to speed reconnaissance and selection of positions. Prospective positions for Patriot batteries should be coordinated through the ADA brigade S3, if possible, so that use of the land may be deconflicted with other corps units.

5-14. Bounding overwatch. Using the bounding overwatch (leapfrog) method to move units or remote launcher groups forward ensures that Patriot coverage moves forward with the force. Batteries located near the LD provide initial coverage see Figure 5-1 for illustration. Designated batteries move forward behind attacking forces to preplanned positions along the axis of advance. When they become operational, the batteries at the LD move to forward positions, and so on, to the conclusion of the operation. This is a very difficult operation for Patriot units. Keep in mind these considerations:

  • The number of Patriot batteries to be kept operational at any one time is dependent upon METT-TC. The speed of the attacking force and the number of enemy aircraft, CMs, ASMs and TBMs expected to oppose the attack are factors to be considered when determining the number of batteries to move at one time.

  • Remote launcher group's phase-1 (RL-1) can be used to extend ballistic missile coverage, with some utility against medium to high altitude AC and CMs, and minimize the number of unit moves. (See discussion on remote launch capability later in this chapter).

  • Remote launcher phase-3 (RL-3) is normally used to counter the TBM threat.

  • Command and control of AD engagements during a highly mobile operation is extremely difficult. Prevention of surface-to-air fratricide must be a primary consideration. ROE for enemy aircraft must be clearly defined and widely disseminated. ROE for enemy missiles are less critical, but should also be clear and concise. Every source of target information data must be exploited fully.

  • Patriot units cannot hope to provide TBM protection for attacking forces except at the LD and just beyond the LD. TBM protection should be planned for C3I nodes and for logistical locations, as these can be more readily defined, are not as mobile, and are more likely to be targeted by these weapons.

  • Patriot is a soft target and can be taken out of the fight temporarily or permanently if it is placed within tube artillery range or direct weapon fire range,

Figure 5-1. Bounding Overwatch Patriot Batteries

Figure 5-1. Bounding Overwatch Patriot Batteries


5-15. Patriot units must stay focused on the threat. When the primary threat is missiles, batteries must be placed near or with the assets being protected. When the primary threat is aircraft, this is not the case. TBM defense design is based on launcher locations. The footprints used by the TCS are related to the defended area for the launcher, not the radar. Assets can be covered with remote launch capability. In order to cover assets, establishment of the TBM defense design around the footprints for the expected threat must be made. There are three separate locations where launchers may be positioned to defend assets: local launchers, RL-1 remote launchers, and RL-3 remote launchers. The radar PTL orientation must be pointing towards the center of the threat launch location NAIs.

5-16. Planners should keep in mind the most likely AAAs, as well as the locations of enemy airfields, when determining where to place batteries. Figure 5-2 shows a possible placement of batteries to protect the flank of a corps movement to contact from air attack.

Figure 5-2. Focusing on the Threat

Figure 5-2. Focusing on the Threat


5-17. FM 3-01.87 states that successful offensive operations include the tenets of depth, synchronization, and agility. Patriot's contribution to offensive synchronization is to provide air defense to forces and assets at the critical time and place. Patriot's ability to look deep into the enemy's AO, simultaneously engage numerous threats at all altitudes, and react quickly to changing situations is the key to shaping the third dimension of the offensive battle.


5-18. The ultimate objective of any defensive operation is to seize the initiative from the enemy so that offensive operations may be mounted. Commanders must see Patriot's contribution to defensive operations as offensive in nature. Patriot units must aggressively attempt to disrupt the enemy's air campaign to the point that synchronization between air and ground offensive operations is not possible. Patriot battalions and batteries accomplish this by locating air and missile threats, providing protection to theater and corps critical assets, and by massing firepower forward against the avenues of approach to those assets.

5-19. Coordination must be made with the identification and engagement authority in that theater. Additional efforts must be made to synchronize Patriot fires with the Air Force or other service air defense aircraft. The threat of surface-to-air fratricide is greatly magnified during defensive operations, especially if the enemy has enjoyed any success in targeting friendly C2 structures.


5-20. There are seven major threats that Patriot battalions and batteries must counter during defensive operations to degrade the enemy's ability to synchronize. These threats include enemy TBMs, CMs, FW, RW, ASMs, UAVs, and ECM. TBMs and CMs will target the lodgment area, C3I nodes, and AD sites including air bases. FW aircraft will be programmed against the same targets. RW performs close air support (CAS) and battlefield air interdiction (BAI) operations that directly support ground operations. The ECM threat that targets ADA radars, C3I nodes, and communications must be disrupted.


5-21. Use of Patriot in defensive operations will differ depending on where the battalion is employed. The demands for rear areas differ significantly from those of forward areas. Employment, specifically separation distance between batteries and battalions, proximity to the FLOT, and distance from an asset, should be planned out by all levels and addressed in operation orders. Consideration must be made about the positioning of MANPADS. The area behind the radar (dead zone) is the most critical region during operations, and degrades to protect. However, during march order, emplacement, movement and nonoperational status a more balanced approach is needed from the MANPADS team due to being more visible.

5-22. The position of Patriot firing batteries depends on the ability to achieve overlapping fires, defense in depth, and weighted coverage to help underlie the strategic effectiveness of air defense on the battlefield. Four AD employment principles that help with the overall protection of the assets are mass, mix, mobility, and integration. The balanced application of these principles to fit the needs of the tactical situation can enhance the effectiveness and survivability of air defense.

5-23. In conjunction with the employment principles, the six ADA employment guidelines also assist with the survivability of air defense units. Based on the tactical situation and availability of AD assets, applying all of the guidelines in all tactical situations is seldom possible. These guidelines are—

  • Balanced fires.

  • Weighted coverage.

  • Early engagement.

  • Defense in depth.

  • Mutual support.

  • Overlapping fires.


5-24. Patriot forces in the corps area engage TBMs, CMs, UAVs, ASMs, and aircraft directed against maneuver units and their sustainment facilities. These units also engage enemy aircraft attempting to penetrate to rear areas. Thus, Patriot units in forward areas must counter all the threats noted above. Forward Patriot battalions must also provide early warning for corps, division, and higher echelons, as well as integrate with SHORAD battalions and sensors.


5-25. Patriot in areas controlled by EAC must protect critical assets from TBMs, CMs, and aircraft. Because Patriot's capability forces prioritization of assets for TBM protection, all assets will receive the degree of protection assigned to them by the DAL. Again, early warning must be exchanged with adjacent and higher echelon AD forces.


5-26. At the ADA brigade level (macro defense design), developing defenses is largely a matter of determining force allocation, task-organizing when appropriate, defining the zones and areas of responsibility within which subordinate battalions or task forces will operate, and constructing the C3 architecture to support the AD operation. At the battalion or task force level (micro defense design), designing defenses involves maximizing Patriot system potential against the threat. It includes planning initial and follow-on positions, determining PTLs, allocating special missions to specific batteries, defining assets to be protected, and planning the necessary communications routing. The technical and system details of defense design are discussed at length in FM 3-01.87 and in FM 3-01.13 (S/NF).

5-27. At all levels, defense development is a continuous, interactive process. The battalion commander normally starts the process for his battalion by giving his guidance as a statement of intent and a concept of operations. Defense development is based on the following possible missions for Patriot battalions—

  • Pure air defense.

  • Pure TBM defense.

  • Air-heavy defense.

  • TBM-heavy defense.

  • TBM/air balanced defense.

5-28. Once guidance for concept of operation and intent have been specified, the battalion S3 begins the detailed work of defense design. Batteries' locations, PTL designations, system initialization, and communications must be worked out.


5-29. Because Patriot is a sectored system, the orientation of the firing batteries takes on additional importance. Conceptually, the firing batteries can be oriented so that their PTLs are convergent, divergent, or parallel for air threats.

5-30. Patriot fires are more effective against the air threats when convergent PTLs are used. As shown in Figure 5-3, each Patriot battery's PTL converges on the PTL of at least two other batteries in the defense. Ideally, the PTL of each unit will converge on all other units in the battalion. Convergent PTLs are most effective when applied to known avenues of approach (AAs). Convergent PTLs are also effective against FW aircraft attempting to establish air corridors in forward areas. The exact orientation of battery PTLs depends upon the METT-TC. The battalion should propose PTLs as part of the defense design process, but final defense designs have to be reviewed and approved by the brigade.

Figure 5-3. Convergent PTLs

Figure 5-3. Convergent PTLs

5-31. Convergent PTLs provide mutual support and defense in depth. They concentrate firepower to one area while sacrificing some of the additional area that could be gained by parallel or divergent PTL orientation. However, the protection provided by employing convergent PTLs can be sustained longer because it is less sensitive to loss of units than a deployment that uses parallel or divergent PTLs. More important, convergent PTLs make the Patriot system more effective against raids using escort or self-screening jammers by allowing the system to triangulate to provide range.


5-32. Against the aircraft and CMs divergent and parallel PTLs allow the battalion S3 to provide Patriot coverage to larger areas than when using convergent PTLs. This occurs at the expense of concentration of firepower and it reduces system electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) capability. However, in many circumstances, the considerations of METT-TC will not allow the use of convergent PTLs. For example, if the battalion area of responsibility is too large to allow batteries to be positioned using convergent PTLs, or if too few batteries have been allocated to the defense, then divergent PTLs may be required. When threat AAs requires acquisition and firepower in different directions, the S3 may not be able to use convergent PTLs.


5-33. Secondary target lines (STLs) need to be carefully planned to sustain the AD protection of the supported unit or asset. They should also be planned for contingencies and to cover possible catastrophic failures. Launcher siting must support the use of STLs. See FM 3-01.87 for guidance on the siting of launchers.


5-34. When developing defenses against TBMs, convergent PTLs are important to the overall design and are necessary in providing overlapping coverage that is needed for mutual support. TBM defense design is done first. Each battery's PTL should be oriented toward suspected TBM launch sites.

5-35. PTLs and STLs are also important to radar emplacement. Radar location is determined to allow optimal defense using the launcher footprints. PTL and STL orientation toward the TBM NAIs location is critical. The NAIs may include the positions where threat TBMs may be launched. During the planning of the FU locations and PTLs, the search sector must consider the NAIs. The radar search sectors must be evaluated to prevent exceeding 100% of the operational performance loads. Many technical aspects are involved with the positioning of the FU and the PDB-5 (configuration 3) AN/MPQ-63 radar. The technical aspects include use of TBM Intercept Geometry and Tailored Search. When there is limited intelligence as to the exact location of the threat launchers, the default TBM NAI may be large and the standard search must be used.


5-36. Tailored search is used to when valid NAI locations are determined. Tailoring the search beams is based on valid IPB threat launch azimuths, remote launcher locations, and asset boundaries. The tailored search beams allow the radar to focus and extend the TBM search sector to counter the longer-range TBM threat. The additional benefit is significant reduction in radar resources required to accomplish TBM search functions. Although this does not increase the footprint or Pk, tailored search increases the time frame for the system operator.

5-37. When entering threat information, every launch is considered an NAI when processing data; care should be taken to ensure every known location is derived from the S2's ground IPB. This data is necessary to ensure valuable radar resources are maximized and not wasted. If excessively large launching areas are defined, and or excessively advanced threats are defined, the FU runs the risk of degrading the overall defensive posture by reducing the number or coverage of defendable assets.

5-38. The Patriot system automatically controls the search sectors employed by the REP 3 radar to provide maximum defensive coverage of the FU and their assets. The TBM tailored search beams enhance surveillance along search azimuths for valid TBM NAIs. Priority should go to known launch areas. Use the intelligence data provided by the S2 whenever possible to establish tailored TBM search sectors. Expanded search capabilities are only available with the Config 3 radar. Figure 5-4 illustrates tailored search using both short and long-range targets.

Figure 5-4. Tailored Search

Figure 5-4. Tailored Search

Default Scenario

5-39. The default scenario for tailored search is used when there is limited NAI intelligence on valid enemy TBM launch areas. The default scenario is a self-defense plan that is used when the threat is not known. FM 3-01.13 (S/NF) addresses the technical details of a TBM defense, and FM 3-01.87 addresses tactical software issues, but the S3 should follow these general guidelines—

  • Plan for the most likely threat COAs that the S2 has templated. The commander's guidance may require the staff to develop options based upon certain aspects of the S2's most dangerous COAs and incorporate those options into one.

  • Identify the proper PTL for each battery with respect to the TBM threat. The closer a TBM flies to the PTL, the more reliable system engagement processing becomes. As a rule, the closer the battery is to the TBM launch site, the more important the PTL selection is.

  • Do not skew the ATM search sector. This should be done only when the TBM approach can be reliably identified as different from the main air AA.

  • Place batteries as close to protected assets as possible. The rule of thumb is that the closer the battery is to the TBM ground impact point (GIP), the higher the Pk.

  • Maximize the use of TBM surveillance. When the battalion's mission is providing asset protection, the majority of batteries should be in TBM surveillance mode.

  • Distribute missile types relative to the threat. The Patriot missile inventory includes five different missile types. They are referred to as the standard, SOJC, ATM, ATM1, and ATM2 missiles. The standard and SOJC missiles are also referred to as PAC-1 missiles, while the ATM missile is the PAC-2, and the ATM1 missile is the GEM. The PAC-3 is also known as the ATM2 missile. A mix of the missiles within the battery is recommended for the various threats. All of the missiles may be mixed on the launchers except for PAC-3. There can be no mixing of PAC-3 and PAC-2 missiles on the same launcher. See FM 3-01.87 for further guidance on missile distribution and placement of missiles on launchers.

  • Fight in the automatic TBM engagement mode. The system is designed to fight in the automatic TBM engagement mode. When the system has classified a target as a TBM, engagement decisions and the time in which the operator has to make those decisions are very limited.

  • Overlap TBM coverage. Do this for mutual support between batteries and to thicken the defense by sharing assets between batteries. When possible, batteries should be placed within 20 kilometers of another battery to ease the planning process of sharing assets.


5-40. Patriot may be required to participate in stability operations and support operations to promote and sustain regional or global stability or to discourage terrorists or rogue elements from disrupting the normal civil or political activities within a host nation. Stability operation and support operations may involve defending the host nation against TM or air attacks using defensive operations and or employment strategies described in this chapter. The forces and equipment required for each operation are dependent upon METT-TC. Some stability operations and support operations will require deployment of a minimum engagement package, while others may require a tailored AMD task force.


5-41. During the conduct of offensive, defensive, or stability operations and support operations, Patriot's remote launch capability may be employed to increase defensive coverage, improve flexibility in defense designs, or maintain fire power in situations where critical equipment becomes lost or inoperable. Patriot's phase-one remote launch (RL-1) capability allows launching stations (LSs) to be emplaced up to 10 km from the controlling ECS, while Patriot's phase-three remote launch (RL-3) capability allows launcher groups (two or more LSs) to be emplaced up to 30 km from an associated RS.

5-42. Patriot RL3 capability allows the ECS to control one local and three remote launcher groups. It also allows the control of remote launcher groups to be transferred from one ECS to another in situations where an ECS has sustained equipment losses. A battery employing both RL-1 and RL-3 capabilities is shown in Figure 5-5.

Figure 5-5. Patriot Remote Launch Capability

Figure 5-5. Patriot Remote Launch Capability


5-43. The decision to employ remote launch capability is based on METT-TC. RL capability may be needed when assets requiring protection are widely dispersed, but it can be employed only if terrain allows LOS communications to be established.

5-44. In the PAC-3 system, the launchers must be within the surveillance sector. The following guidelines must be considered in planning RL operations—

  • RL-3 capabilities are normally used only for TBM defenses. Defended area varies with threat. Defense planners should recognize that the size of the "footprint" (area around a launcher in which assets can be defended) varies with TBM type, characteristics, and launch profile. The defense design process should ensure that the final design is balanced in order to be effective against the most likely as well as the most stressing threat.

  • RL should be employed only if local launchers cannot accomplish the mission. An RL operation significantly increases manpower, logistical, and security requirements. RL should be employed only after making every effort to meet requirements with locally deployed launcher platoons and taking advantage of upper-tier systems to protect widely dispersed assets from TBMs.

  • Remote launchers must be sited within the radar surveillance sector, and should be within the maximum remote launch distance of the greatest number of battery fire control sets (ECS and RS) that defense requirements and terrain will allow. This will maximize the availability of firepower and the ability to dynamically reconstitute.

  • The remoting of launchers for air threat protection is not recommended due to extended dead zones. When an ECS assumes control over another FU's launcher sections that are protecting assets from airthreats, the extended low altitude dead zone may not allow adequate protection. The dead zone surrounding an LS is relative to its emplacement range from the radar and expands from the LS out to a given distance along the LS emplacement azimuth. The dead zone is not a discriminating factor for TBM defense.

  • RL-3 provides a marginal improvement from the RL-1 in the ability to engage medium-to-high altitude, high-speed aircraft at maximum effective ranges.


5-45. In theaters where the threat includes a mix of medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), other TMs, and aircraft, an AMD task force (AMDTF) may be employed to protect forces and high-value assets. The AMDTF is normally comprised of a THAAD battery and several Patriot batteries under the control of a TF TOC (Patriot ICC/TCS), as shown in Figure 5-6. The AMDTF may also include SHORAD units.

Figure 5-6. AMD Task Force

Figure 5-6. AMD Task Force

5-46. The primary advantage of an AMDTF is that it provides a higher level of protection than is achievable with a single system. The THAAD and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) weapon systems will provide a two-tier defense for high value assets located under their protective envelope that denies the enemy a preferred attack option. THAAD provides the upper-tier defense against MRBMs and is needed to provide near leak proof defense against SRBMs in the common target set, while Patriot provides the lower-tier defense against SRBMs, other tactical missiles (CMs and ASMs), and aircraft. TBM tracks are handed-off to the lower-tier by THAAD in time for Patriot to engage at optimum range and altitude, and to obtain an intercept above a prescribed keep-out altitude minimizing the effects of weapon of mass destruction. SHORAD units supplement lower-tier defenses, by providing additional protection against low altitude FW, RW, UAV, and CM threats. The Patriot battalion normally provides the task force command and control.


5-47. To properly implement an AMDTF, task force planners should have a detailed knowledge of the threat. They must also understand the capabilities and limitations of all systems that comprise the task force, and have a working knowledge of THAAD, Patriot, and SHORAD system software and communications. Planners should refer to applicable manuals for technical details and specifics on system performance and software capabilities and limitations.

5-48. The task force will normally receive the mission, defense priorities, and commander's intent from higher headquarters. After assessing METT-TC and developing a detailed IPB, planners develop level of protection requirements; taking into consideration the JFC defended asset list and CVRT assessments. The level of protection requirements drives the allocation and positioning of resources as well as system initialization, firing doctrine, and integration of fires.

5-49. Task force planning requires cooperation and close coordination among Patriot, THAAD, and SHORAD planners. In planning task force defenses, THAAD defense design is first developed. This involves determining the upper-tier search requirements, establishing the PTL(s), determining the optimum FU location, emplacing the radar and launchers, and planning communication links within and external to the THAAD battery, including linkage with the AMDTF TOC. Planners next develop the Patriot defense design, which involves determining the lower-tier search requirements, establishing PTLs, emplacement of the radar, LCSs and launchers, and planning communications links within and external to the Patriot battalion.

5-50. This planning results in an AMDTF defense design, illustrated in Figure 5-7. This example shows five Patriot FUs and a THAAD FU. The THAAD FU is capable of defending selected assets against MRBMs and some SRBMs. Normally; THAAD is initialized to protect the lower-tier Patriot FUs.

Figure 5-7. AMDTF Defense Design

Figure 5-7. AMDTF Defense Design

5-51. The Patriot FUs are capable of defending selected assets within their respective lower-tier defended areas (LTDAs). An LTDA is defined as a two dimensional, multisided area that represents a region where Patriot has both defended assets and engagement capability against TBMs. LTDA coverage is a function of a number of factors including the type of threat, threat location, threat attack vectors, FU PTLs, Patriot missile type, and remote launcher placement. An LTDA can be extended or enlarged using Patriot's RL-3 remote launch capability.

5-52. Assets that require the highest level of protection (near-leak proof protection) must be located within both the THAAD defended area (the area that is designated for some level of protection from higher) and an LTDA (TBMs must be in the common target set). Assets that require lower levels of protection must be located within either the THAAD defended area or an LTDA. In either case, Patriot and or THAAD FUs must be initialized to defend specific assets.

5-53. Along with THAAD and Patriot, consideration must be given to how SHORAD operates with these units in planning the defense design. Defense design planning must include the location, communication links, and how Manpads will be used for coverage for both Patriot and THAAD. Patriot will exchange automated track data over TADIL-J through the air battle management operations center (ABMOC), and EPLARS from SHORAD Sentinel sensors for early warning (digitized units only) against RW, FW and CMs. SHORADs primary role during defense design is to provide low-altitude protection for defended assets and to provide coverage to AAA, and to cover dead zones (backside) within Patriot and THAAD. SHORAD will also provide protection against FW, RW, CMs, and ASMs to Patriot and THAAD units. Coordination and integration must be done at all levels of air defense to ensure success on the battlefield.


5-54. An AMDTF may be employed during any operational phase, including entry operations, shaping operations, decisive operations, or stability and support operations. The exact composition of the TF will depend upon METT-TC. For example, if the threat includes a mix of MRBMs and SRBMs, the TF will normally consist of a THAAD FU, several Patriot FUs, and a TF TOC. If the threat includes RW, FW, CM and or UAVs, SHORAD units may be included in the TF.

5-55. Regardless of the TF's composition or the phase of operations, TF operations must be integrated and coordinated to adequately counter the air and missile threat. Each element of the task force—the TF TOC, Patriot FU, THAAD FU, and SHORAD FU—contributes to countering the threat. Figure 5-8 presents an overview of TF operations, highlighting the contributions of each element of the TF. These contributions are described in more detail in the paragraphs that follow.

Figure 5-8. Task Force Operations

Figure 5-8. Task Force Operations

Task Force TOC

5-56. The TF TOC is the focal point of task force operations. It has operational control and command over all units comprising the task force and is responsible for planning and coordinating task force defenses and operations.

5-57. The TOC positions FUs to optimize the protection of selected assets in accordance with defense priorities. Patriot and SHORAD FUs may be employed in close proximity together to defend assets. Patriot's PTLs should be oriented toward suspected TBM launch sites and or the most likely AAAs to maximize detection and probability of kill. The THAAD PTL is normally oriented in the direction of threat TBMs, but THAAD has a much larger defended area, allowing for greater flexibility in employment and positioning with respect to defended assets.

5-58. During operations, the TOC receives air and missile surveillance data from lower-tier Patriot and SHORAD FUs, and ballistic missile surveillance data from the THAAD FU. THAAD and SHORAD tracks are sent over TADIL-J and then sent over the JDN to all users to include Patriot; it does not get retransmitted by Patriot. The TOC establishes and maintains a comprehensive picture of air and missile tracks for tactical operations.

5-59. The TOC coordinates the activities of all task force elements. This coordination includes correlating tracks, resolving identity conflicts, establishing engagement priorities, coordinating air engagements, monitoring TBM engagements, and distributing air defense warnings and WCSs. The TOC normally exercises centralized control of Patriot batteries in the air battle, but decentralizes execution of the TBM battle to the Patriot and THAAD FUs.

Patriot FUs

5-60. In most cases, THAAD provides the first line of defense against TBMs in the common target set. Patriot provides defense against lower-tier air and missile threats. Using organic sensors, they detect, classify, identify and track incoming threats and, if necessary, engage and destroy them. Aircraft engagements are performed under centralized control of the TF TOC to optimize fires and minimize fratricide.

5-61. TBM engagements are performed under decentralized control of the FU to ensure TBMs are engaged in sufficient time to enforce the minimum keep-out altitude. If collocated with the THAAD FU, Patriot FUs protect the THAAD against ARMs as well as CMs. Throughout the battle, Patriot FUs provide operational and engagement status to the TF TOC.


5-62. The THAAD FU provides upper-tier defense against MRBMs and most SRBM threats. Using its organic sensor, it detects, classifies and tracks incoming ballistic missiles and provides this surveillance information to the TF TOC via the joint data network (JDN). THAAD operates in a decentralized engagement mode and then engages incoming ballistic missiles that threaten critical assets. During the battle, THAAD provides its operational and engagement status to the TF TOC via the joint mission management net (JMMN).

THAAD-Patriot Engagement Coordination

5-63. If incoming TBMs are capable of being engaged by both THAAD and Patriot, engagement coordination is required to optimize the use of interceptor resources as well as ensure the required level of protection. In coordinating the TBM battle, the TF TOC provides THAAD with an assessment of Patriot's capability to support THAAD engagements. If TBMs are eligible for THAAD-Patriot coordination, THAAD will send an engagement coordination message to the TOC via the JECN declaring whether or not lower-tier support is expected. In making an engagement decision, THAAD computes a method of fire for the engagement and determines if it has sufficient interceptor resources to execute the method of fire. THAAD informs the TOC that support is expected. However, THAAD does not automatically change method of fire based on the availability of Patriot support.


5-64. A SHORAD battalion and associated FUs may be utilized in the TF to supplement lower-tier defenses. These units include Avengers, Bradley Linebackers, and or Stinger teams. Using organic sensors (Sentinel radars) SHORAD units detect, track and engage very low-altitude threats, including CMs, FW and RW aircraft, and UAVs. This surveillance information is passed to the SHORAD battery via SHORAD communications links, and then to the TF TOC via the JDN, where it is integrated with surveillance data for the Patriot FUs. SHORAD FUs execute FW, RW, CM, and UAV engagements in accordance with established ROEs and WCSs established by the AADC under decentralized control of the SHORAD battery (or TF TOC if a SHORAD battery is not present). Decentralized control increases the likelihood that a hostile aircraft will be engaged as soon as it comes within range.

Task Force Communications

5-65. The TOC communicates with elements of the task force through several communication networks. These networks, described in detail in Appendix C, Communications, include the MSE net, the joint mission management net (JMMN), the joint data network (JDN) and the joint engagement coordination network (JECN).

  • The MSE is a voice/data net used to coordinate force operations activities, including the dissemination of defense design information, firing doctrine, system initialization and sensor orientation to TF elements.

  • The JMMN is a data net used to disseminate commands, engagement status and ICC/ECS operational status.

  • The JDN is a data net used to disseminate near-real time engagement operations data, including air and missile track data.


5-66. The ability of a Patriot unit to function effectively on the battlefield depends on effective C3I. There are three types of Patriot C3I facilities, tactical operations center (TOC), command post (CP), and fire direction center (FDC).

Tactical Operations Center

5-67. TOCs are located at all echelons which are authorized a staff. The battalion TOC is the operational control and planning center for the battalion. The TOC provides guidance to the subordinate unit commanders on employment, organization, and intelligence. In some situations, the TOC may be split into operations and logistics cells located in different areas. Normally, the S3 is in charge of the operations, planning, and intelligence cell. The administrative and logistics cell, under the direction of the battalion executive officer, handles administrative and personnel matters, and most logistics functions and coordination (see Chapter 6). Because the XO is second in command, additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned to him. The XO may advise the EMMO team to assist the admin/log cell on Patriot system logistic requirements.

Command Post/Battery Command Post

5-68. Command posts (CP) are the command and control centers of the unit. The unit commanders are normally located at or near the CP. CPs are maintained at both battery and battalion levels. CPs purpose within the battery is to maintain current situation awareness regarding the national alert status, the status of enemy and friendly forces, their own unit status and applicable orders in effect. They also control ground defense, battery Stinger teams, logistics functions, administrative communication networks, and other tactical unit operations.

5-69. The battery provides communications with higher, adjacent, and supporting units; to assist commander in planning, coordinating, and issuing of battery OPORDS. All CPs have secure communications to higher and lower elements. CPs must be able to execute current operations and to pass orders to subordinate ADA units simultaneously. CPs have dedicated elements to implement emergency survivability measures in case of chemical or ground attack. CPs can sustain operations indefinitely through crew rotation.

5-70. New technologies is now being integrated into the battery CP. The new Patriot battery CP provides shelterized communications, computer and display facilities as well as working space for the battery commander and his staff. This information will be seen using the AMDWS system. Personnel required to support battery CP operations will be 14Js. See Appendix B for the system descriptions. Some of the BCP functions will include the AMDWS functions and also the following—

  • Provide recommendations or input during the planning.

  • Receive and send required reports and SITREPS.

  • Monitor the execution of operations.

  • Maintain the current operations situation.

  • Effectively manage logistics ensuring a continuity of combat consumables.

  • Provide a focal point for the receipt and development of intelligence.

  • Plan future operations.

  • Provide situation information to higher headquarters.

Fire Direction Center

5-71. The FDC is the air battle control facility for the Patriot battalion. It consists of the Patriot ICC and support equipment. Tactical directors and their assistants who operate the ICC control FDC operations at the tactical level. The unit tactical communication nets are routed through the ICC for air battle control. At the battery level, the ECS acts as the battery FDC, taking orders from the battalion FDC and disseminating needed information to the battery to accomplish the mission.

Air Defense Command and Control

5-72. The three cornerstones that form the basis for AD C2 are discussed in the following paragraphs. For a more complete discussion of C2, see FM 44-100.

Centralized Management and Decentralized Execution

5-73. Because of the complexity of force projection, air battle management must be centralized at the highest possible level to ensure synchronization of effort and combat power. The sheer volume of operations precludes an efficient response at the highest air battle management level. The use of decentralized control would primarily be used against TBMs. Normally; SHORAD engagements are decentralized in order to increase the likelihood that hostile aircraft will be engaged as soon as it comes within the range of the weapon system. Execution at the lowest possible level ensures rapid and flexible response within the guidelines set by higher levels. Whenever friendly air forces maintain air superiority, Patriot units can expect the JFACC/AADC to exercise tight centralized control of Patriot firepower to prohibit fratricide.

Air Battle Management

5-74. Air battle management is the overlap between airspace control and air defense procedures. Close coordination is vital to the integrated AD activity due to the many systems and components involved. Mutual interference and fratricide must be prevented. There are two basic methods for air battle management. They are positive control and procedural control. Some combination of both methods is the most effective solution. The specific mix is determined by a number of factors. The nature and magnitude of enemy operations, and terrain and weather conditions will affect the balance of management. The availability, capability, reliability, and vulnerability of the management facilities, and the number, deployment and characteristics of friendly airborne weapon systems impact on the management method choice.

5-75. The electronic identification capabilities will determine the amount of positive management procedures used. The challenge for leaders of Patriot units is to understand how procedural control is implemented in their weapon system, and to be able to convert that understanding into permission to engage using procedural controls. As noted above, loss of air superiority, or failure to gain air superiority, will stress our ability to use positive control.

Management by Exception

5-76. This is the principle, which allows higher echelons to manage engagements even though authority is decentralized. Engagements could be overridden or directed. Rather than try to direct every engagement, air battle controllers will prevent prohibited engagements. This reduces the detail down to a manageable level at each level of control.


5-77. The operational engagement effectiveness is the overall level of "goodness" or "success" achieved in defending assets through an intercept or multiple intercepts following an established method of fire. This is achieved using the five levels of engagement effectiveness and seven integrated firing doctrine principles.


5-78. Patriot operates as the lower-tier of a two-tier system and defends assets from short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs). SRBMs are the primary TBM target sets for Patriot. The target sets for TBMs falls into Patriot only, THAAD only, and common threat sets for both THAAD and Patriot. The following figure displays the TBM target sets for both Patriot and THAAD. These combinations are the fundamental building blocks used in developing a two-tiers TBM defense design.

5-79. The primary target sets for THAAD are SRBMs and medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). A THAAD battery provides the upper-tier of a two-tiers TBM defense and engages at long ranges and high altitudes.

5-80. In a two-tier defense, both Patriot and THAAD primarily perform active defense against short and medium range ballistic missiles. Patriot will provide defense against short-range TBMs as the lower-tier of a two-tier defense in conjunction with THAAD. THAAD will execute the upper-tier TBM battle to protect those assets assigned according to established priorities.

5-81. Within the common threat set for Patriot and THAAD, shown in Figure 5-9, there exists a set of TBMs that are engageable by both Patriot and THAAD. Using a two-tier defense, Patriot and THAAD may defend against this common threat.

  • Common threat set assets may require two-tier defense.

  • In a common threat set, both Patriot and THAAD can engage.

  • A two-tier defense may be used against a majority of TBM threats.

  • Two-tier defense provides significant flexibility in defense design and execution.

  • Patriot or THAAD can engage to defend assets outside a common threat set using a one-tier defense.

Figure 5-9. Common Threat Set

Figure 5-9. Common Threat Set


5-82. The JFC normally establishes the required level of engagement effectiveness for each defended asset based on METT-TC. He specifies which critical assets on the defended asset list (DAL) will receive a level, ranging from Level 0 for no dedicated theater DCA, to Level 4 for a very high Level for high value assets (HVA). Each Level is defined by a specific percentage value and a corresponding number of shots. Once a level of engagement effectiveness is established, defense design and firing doctrine parameters are developed. The JFC-assigned levels of engagement effectiveness and available battlespace determine the method of fire (number of shots) used by the engaging fire unit.

5-83. The number of tiers does not determine the level of engagement effectiveness. For example, you could have two-tiers or one-tier of defense for Levels 1-4. However, one-tier normally handles Levels 1 and 2 while two-tiers normally handle Levels 3 and 4. Although a single-tier for Levels 1-4 is possible, it is not always practical. The key is how Patriot will achieve each level of operational engagement effectiveness, with or without upper-tier support. Patriot and THAAD TBM operational engagement effectiveness is based on the five levels as shown below in Figure 5-10. The specific percentage values for each level of engagement effectiveness are in FM 3-01.13.


Level 0 = NONE — 0 Shots

Level 1 = LOW - 1 Shot

Level 2 = MEDIUM - 2 Shots

Level 3 = HIGH - 3 Shots

Level 4 = VERY HIGH - 4 Shots

Note: The number of shots taken may vary according to the SSEKP for each weapon system. Expected engagement effectiveness=(1-(1-SSEKP)n) where n is the number of interceptors.

Figure 5-10. Levels of TBM Engagement Effectiveness

  • Level 0 (none) — the level of defense when no TBM active defense is provided. The JFC accepts maximum risk and active defense forces are not tasked to provide any TBM protection. Patriot will not fire.

  • Level 1 (low) — the minimum level of TBM active defense that can be provided. JFCs may provide this level of protection throughout their operational areas, within smaller areas, or for specified assets. One-tier of TBM protection normally will be used. Patriot or THAAD will fire only one missile at a time using a shoot-look-shoot method of fire.

  • Level 2 (medium) — the normal level of defense used to provide specified, hardened, or mobile military assets with a medium level of protection. Normally, using a single-tier of TBM protection is sufficient. Operating alone, Patriot will fire using a ripple or salvo method of fire depending on battlespace.

  • Level 3 (high) — the appropriate level of defense for assets that require a more robust level of protection than Level 2 but less than a very high defense. Level 3 normally requires use of two-tiers but may use one-tier operating alone. This requires coordination between Patriot and upper-tier. Operating with two-tiers, THAAD may shoot one and coordinate with the lower-tier, Patriot will fire two missiles using a ripple or salvo method of fire. The exception is when THAAD shoots two and Patriot engages with a single shot.

  • Level 4 (very high) — a near leak proof defense for high priority, vulnerable assets such as population centers, ports, airfields, logistics complexes, troop concentrations, and other assets. This level normally requires two-tiers operating together in an integrated defense. This requires coordination between Patriot and upper-tier to defend a common asset. Normally in a two-tier defense four missiles must be launched, two by THAAD and two by Patriot.


5-84. Complementing the five levels, there are seven integrated firing doctrine principles. These principles are designed to account for each possible scenario within the five levels of engagement effectiveness. They clarify the basis and rationale for the integration of THAAD and Patriot fires. The methods of fire and number of shots are derived from the application of these principles. There are two over arching principles; first, the right of self-defense is never denied, and second, the commander maintains the flexibility to tailor the defense in other than normal modes of operation.

  • If the TBMs are threatening the fire unit, the TBM is determined to be a self-defense threat. The principle of "self-defense is never denied" is employed against TBM threats in a decentralized (automatic) mode of engagement.

  • Integrated firing doctrine exceptions allow the JFC flexibility in tailoring the levels of defense in other than normal modes of operations.

  • The JFC may wish to provide some protection, Level 1 (low) asset protection, for selected assets within their defended areas. These assets are not sufficient priority to receive higher levels of protection. All assets or areas may receive some protection while maintaining higher levels of defense for other selected assets.

  • The FU provides a near leak proof Level 4 defense for selected assets against targets not in the common target set.

  • The FU provides a near leak proof Level 4 defense for certain assets protected by only a single-tier.

5-85. Principle 1—Ready/preferred missiles will not be held in reserve if they are needed for today's battle. Any TBM may be carrying weapons of mass destruction; therefore, Patriot and THAAD should engage a TBM threatening a defended asset with the best available interceptor for the mission. Engaging units should always shoot a TBM threatening a defended asset with the number of interceptors required to meet the CINC's engagement effectiveness guidance.

5-86. Principle 2—Defense designers should build defenses around Levels 2 and Level 4 criteria. Level 2 refers to the level of engagement effectiveness required against a specified target set that can be achieved from a single-tier operating alone. Level 2 is the appropriate level of defense for military assets that have some level of protection to similar less vulnerable assets. Figure 5-11 demonstrates Principle 2, Level 2 medium level of engagement effectiveness.

Figure 5-11. Principle 2, Level 2, Medium Engagement Effectiveness

Figure 5-11. Principle 2, Level 2, Medium Engagement Effectiveness

5-87. Normally Level 4 refers to two-tiers operating in an integrated defense but may refer to one-tier operating independently. Two-tiers operating in an integrated defense is applicable only to targets in the common target set (upper and lower-tier). Figure 5-12 demonstrates Principle 2, Level 4 very high level of engagement effectiveness for two-tiers. Figure 5-13 demonstrates Principle 2, Level 4 for one-tier. Level 4 provides very high level of engagement effectiveness for soft targets and high priority assets such as population centers, ports and airfields.

Figure 5-12. Principle 2, Level 4, Two-Tiers Very High Engagement Effectiveness

Figure 5-12. Principle 2, Level 4, Two-Tiers Very High Engagement Effectiveness

Figure 5-13. Principle 2, Level 4, One-Tier Very High Engagement Effectiveness

Figure 5-13. Principle 2, Level 4, One-Tier Very High Engagement Effectiveness

5-88. Fighting in an integrated two-tiers defense against TBMs will bring a new vision to how Patriot fights together with THAAD. First THAAD will fire one missile and look for a TBM kill, if no kill, the system will fire again as necessary to achieve the desired level of defense. In principle 2, when there is lower-tier Patriot support, THAAD will fire two more missiles while Patriot will engage with ripple or salvo method of fire.

5-89. Principle 3—This principle states that there are four-upper/lower-tier combinations used for defense design. These four combinations are the fundamental building blocks in defense design. The combinations for this principle includes—

  • Single-tier involving Patriot only.

  • Single-tier with THAAD only.

  • A two-tier THAAD (Any of these first three combinations will yield a Level 2 defense) or Patriot integrated defense.

  • A two-tier THAAD and Patriot integrated defense. The fourth combination yields a two-tiers Level 3 (high) or Level 4 defense (very high) because both Patriot and THAAD can engage TBMs within the common threat set to defend the asset. This two-tiers defense provides significant flexibility in defense design and execution. The number of missiles fired by either tier may vary depending on battle space.

5-90. Any of these first three combinations in Principle 3 will yield a Level 2 defense. Within the two-tier defense, Patriot should not engage a TBM threatening one of its defended assets if THAAD has launched the right number of missiles to achieve the engagement effectiveness for a specified level of defense. Based on this knowledge, Patriot should not engage. There is no need for Patriot to fire.

5-91. Principle 4—Each tier in the defense must execute independently to attain engagement effectiveness Level 2 against its target set within battlespace constraints. In order to achieve Levels 3 and 4, normally Patriot and THAAD will operate in an integrated two-tiers defense (see Figure 5-12). To deliver the operational engagement effectiveness level, Patriot reacts to the knowledge of a hit or miss provided by THAAD. Even though THAAD is engaging targets, Patriot will conduct engagement according to the expected engagement effectiveness. In exceptional cases Patriot uses either two different launchers or two different batteries to achieve the required engagement effectiveness as a single-tier, see Figure 5-13.

5-92. Principle 5—Within its single-tier, battlespace Patriot will normally engage a TBM threatening its defended assets. Patriot supports only one engagement to enforce required keep-out altitudes for defended assets. If a NO KILL is assessed, the operational engagement effectiveness is ZERO. Figures 5-14 illustrates Principle 5, Level 2, Patriot enforcing keepout altitude.

  • In a Level 1 defense, if a NO KILL is assessed, the operational engagement effectiveness is zero. Patriot will not have the battlespace to re-engage. If a NO KILL is assessed for THAAD, the operational engagement effectiveness is ZERO; the THAAD FU must fire again within the remaining battlespace to deliver the operational of engagement effectiveness.

  • In a Level 2 defense, if a NO KILL is assessed by THAAD, and Patriot sees a surviving threat to a defended asset, Patriot has no operational alternatives except to engage. Patriot will engage to enforce the keepout altitude. If NO KILL is assed, then THAAD must fire two missiles to achieve Level 2. Patriot does not engage since THAAD has two missiles in flight to meet Level 2 requirements, see Figure 5-15.

Figure 5-14. Principle 5, Level 2, Patriot Enforcing the Keepout Altitude

Figure 5-14. Principle 5, Level 2, Patriot Enforcing the Keepout Altitude

Figure 5-15. Principle 5, Level 2, Patriot Does Not Engage

Figure 5-15. Principle 5, Level 2, Patriot Does Not Engage

5-93. Principle 6—In two-tier, THAAD and Patriot Levels 3 and 4 defenses, the upper-tier may commit its last shot to intercept below the lower-tier's commit altitude. Four missiles could be launched to intercept its target, although the likelihood of this occurrence is low. It is perceived as a necessary use of missiles in order to provide a high or very high defense. See Figure 5-16 for illustration of a Principle 6, Level 4 (very high) two-tier defense.

Figure 5-16. Principle 6, Level 4, Two-tier Defense

Figure 5-16. Principle 6, Level 4, Two-tier Defense

5-94. Principle 7—In a two-tier, THAAD or Patriot Level 2 defense, either tier may conduct the engagement of a specific threat. But, the upper-tier will not commit if the intercept kill assessment of the last shot will be below the lower-tier's commit altitude. Patriot contributes the last shots in an attempt to achieve Level 2. Figure 5-17 illustrates Principle 7, Level 2.

Figure 5-17. Principle 7, Level 2, Two-tiers defense

Figure 5-17. Principle 7, Level 2, Two-tiers defense

Missile Conservation

5-95. The primary means of missile conservation within the constraints of the commander's guidance is a defense design consideration rather than a firing doctrine/method of fire consideration. Units must protect defended assets to the operational engagement effectiveness level specified until the JFC specifies new guidance, the threat is defeated, or all ready missiles are expended. Any TBM may carry weapons of mass destruction; therefore, Patriot and THAAD should engage a TBM threatening a defended asset with missiles which have the required lethality and using the method of fire needed to achieve the specified operational engagement effectiveness. Missiles should not be held in reserve.

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