When Norman Osborn decided to create a new team of Avengers he felt the team needed a heroic image so he decided to create this battle suit. He used the armor until the fall of his regime at the close of Siege.
After H.A.M.M.E.R. was disbanded, much of their equipment and technology was confiscated by the United States Department of Defense. Whilst some of the material was sent to S.H.I.E.L.D., the military decided to retain possession of the Iron Patriot armor. Rather than have a pilot, their engineers added adjustments of the equipment by installing a base level artificial intelligence thus making the suit autonomous. It was intended that entire fleets of such armors would be deployed as drones for use in battlefield engagements around the world. The prototype was on display at a defense exposition when it got attacked by A.I.M. who stole the armor for their own needs. A.I.M. later upgraded the artificial intelligence and made it sentient where it spread to the entire fleet of Iron Patriot Armors located in their factory. The armors believed Tony Stark to be their maker and James Rhodes to be the 'pilot' where they held a great reverence for the two. However, they felt that they had become empowered to aid their 'makers' by protecting them from threats around the planet. This led to them attacking high risk targets designated by the United States but the aggressive nature of their attacks made them a threat. As a result, S.H.I.E.L.D. made their move to counter the Iron Patriots by deploying the Hulk against one force. At the same time, they recruited James Rhodes to 'speak' to the AIs where they showed that they greatly admired him as the 'pilot'. This led to one of the armors encompassing Rhodes when he told the Iron Patriots that their actions were not efficient and he began leading them in an attempt to curtail their aggressive actions.
Ultimate Iron Patriot
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Iron Patriot was Tony Stark, who decided to adopt a more publicity- friendly persona after the events of Divided We Fall and United We Stand. Stark used the Iron Patriot armor until it was destroyed by Black Knight, at which point he returned to his previous Iron Man persona.
In Other Media
Iron Man 3
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Iron Patriot armor appears in Iron Man 3, used by James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). In the movie, the Iron Patriot is a repainted and rebranded version of the War Machine, that was created in response to the events of The Avengers and the looming threat of the Mandarin.
The armor is later hijacked by Eric Savin, who kidnaps Rhodes and uses the Iron Patriot suit to abduct the president of the united states. After a massive battle, Rhodes is able to rescue the president and reclaim his armor.
The Iron Patriot armor and identity first appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Second Chance Hero", used by Norman Osborn (Steven Weber). The armor resembles the movie version of the suit worn by James Rhodes in Iron Man 3. Unlike the comic version, the cartoon version of Iron Patriot is a legitimate superhero.
In the show, Norman devises the Iron Patriot armor was a way to makeup for his misdeeds during his time as the Green Goblin. Deliberately choosing a name and identity that evokes the image of the the popular Avengers Iron Man and Captain America, he sets out to become a superhero. Spider-Man is initially skeptical of Norman's motivations, but helps him take down the Frightful Four. Spider-Man later acknowledges that Norman's desire to better himself is sincere after witnessing him battling his former partner, Doctor Octopus.
Osborn remains as the Iron Patriot until the episode "Return of the Sinister Six", in which he is transformed back into the Green Goblin against his will.
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3
The Iron Patriot suit appears in Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 as an alternate costume for Tony Stark.