Army air defense leader: Patriot, Stinger 'need to go'

By Jason Sherman / August 31, 2021 at 12:38 PM

The Army needs to prepare to "ruthlessly" retire the Patriot and Stinger air defense systems, according to a senior service official who said wholesale replacement of the Cold War systems is needed to modernize the air defense force for emerging threats.

Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the Air and Missile Defense cross functional team, said continued upgrades to the legacy systems is not sufficient during an Aug. 31 webcast address at the Fires Conference at Ft. Sill, OK.

“We . . . have to realize that there will come a time where we have to ruthlessly . . . retire weapon systems that got us here to this day," Gibson said. "We're not going to Patriot and Stinger our way to a modernized air defense force; it's not going to happen. We can't afford it, nor should we."

The general added: "Our forefathers in the Cold War recognize how important it was -- just like today our leadership has recognized -- we need to do something different. And those things are phenomenal weapon systems but they're gonna go at some point -- and they need to go."