The prime contractor for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System is Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, a component of the Raytheon Company that in 2010 banked some $14.8+ billion in U.S. military and other government contracts that we are allowed to know about:
And Raytheon’s Patriot missiles are not sold exclusively to defend the good ole Red, White and Blue. Any country with a wad of cash and a wink from the State Department can stockpile them, including Arab nations like Kuwait and the UAE. Osama Bin Laden’s Saudi Arabia homeland, for example, just ponied up $1.7 billion for a Patriot “upgrade”:
Yes, this is the same Raytheon that is working on HAARP (see video below). And along with Lockheed Martin, Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, it ranks perennially not only as a “Big 5” defense contractor (ie. war profiteer) but also as a top offender in the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD) maintained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) – a toothless Washington watchdog:
And although historically Raytheon’s false performance claims, taxpayer overcharges and contractor kickbacks have not been focused exclusively on pushing Patriots out the door, even sans irregularities the cost/benefit ratio of their flagship missile program is a real eyebrow raiser: Even using PRISON LABORERS paid as little as 23 cents an hour in their manufacture, each Patriot missile produced sports a price tag as high as $5.9 million:
Julian Zdzislaw Starostecki – the Polish-born principal designer of the original Patriot missile – was himself a prisoner in the Soviet Gulag before immigrating to America after World War II. So in a sense it would be accurate to note with irony that this icon of “freedom” was both developed and produced by prisoners. Perhaps that explains the constrained success rate of the optimistically-named “Scud Busters” in the first Bush Gulf War, when the probability of a Patriot missile (cost: $1 to $6 million) actually taking out a Scud missile (cost: $0.22 to $1 million) was only 9 percent.
In all fairness though, we should mention that a dozen years and many billions of taxpayer dollars later the Patriot missile’s targeting accuracy was significantly better in the second Bush Gulf War, although enemy identification continued to be an issue. Confirmed kills included: a British Panavia Tornado of RAF Squadron 13 and crew … a U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet and Texas pilot Lt. Nathan Dennis White … and perhaps dozens if not hundreds more friendlies and innocents recorded only as “Collateral Damage”.