WASHINGTON,  (UPI) — The U.S. Army completed its first in a series of tests on the Raytheon-built Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system.The flight test, which saw the missile defense system take out two ballistic missiles, followed several upgrades known as Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8), which enhanced the system’s ability to intercept threats and better differentiate between friendly and enemy aircraft.The PDB-8 upgrades were funded in part by the 13-nation Patriot partnership, a coalition of governments agreeing to cooperate on funding, operational knowledge, demonstrations, and other activities to support the missile system’s development.

“Because countries share in the investment of upgrades, Patriot is able to stay ahead of the continually evolving and improving threats we are seeing in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” said Ralph Acaba, Raytheon vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense in a statement.

The Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system is a long-range, high altitude system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other airborne threats from a ground-based platform.

The system features active electronically-scanned array radar technology providing 360 degrees of coverage, a Common Command-and-Control system allowing for operation with partner and allied systems, and the abilty to fire multiple missile types simultaneously, enabling the system to counter a wide variety of threats.