The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the "Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target" which is a backronym for PATRIOT.
The M901 Launching Stations are remotely operated, self-contained units. The ECS controls operation of the launchers through each launcher's DLT, via fiber optic or VHF (SINCGARS) data link. Integral levelling equipment permits emplacement on slopes of up to 10 degrees. Each launcher is trainable in azimuth and elevates to a fixed, elevated launch position. Precise aiming of the launcher before launch is not necessary; thus, no extra lags are introduced into system reaction time. Each launcher is also capable of providing detailed diagnostics to the ECS via the data link. The launching station contains four major equipment subsystems: the launcher generator set, the launcher electronics module (LEM), the launcher mechanics assembly (LMA), and the launcher interconnection group (LIG). The generator set consists of a 15 kW, 400 Hz generator that powers the launcher. The LEM is used for the real-time implementation of launcher operations requested via data link from the ECS. The LMA physically erects and rotates the launcher's platform and its missiles. The LIG connects the missiles themselves to the launcher via the Launcher Missile Round Distributor (LMRD).