Lockheed Martin to deliver PAC-3 upgraded Patriot missiles to US and allied forces
The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a $1.8 billion contract for production and delivery of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptors.
A Sabre short-range ballistic missile launches in June 2017 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, for a test of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement, an advanced missile defense system. Hypersonic missiles might be able to penetrate PAC-3 and similar systems. (Picture source US DoD)
The contract includes deliveries for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales of PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors, launcher modification kits and associated equipment.
"PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE give our customers unmatched, combat-proven hit-to-kill technology to address growing and evolving threats," said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE are proven, trusted and reliable interceptors that employ hit-to-kill accuracy, lethality and enhanced safety to address dangers around the world."
The family of PAC-3 missiles are high-velocity interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Thirteen nations – the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland and Sweden have chosen PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE to provide missile defense capabilities.
The PAC-3 upgrade is a significant upgrade to nearly every aspect of the system. The system itself saw another upgrade of its WCC and its software, and the communication setup was given a complete overhaul.
The PAC-3 upgrade carried with it a new missile design, nominally known as MIM-104F and called PAC-3 by the Army. The PAC-3 missile evolved from the Strategic Defense Initiative's ERINT missile, and so it is dedicated almost entirely to the anti-ballistic missile mission.
The upgraded PAC-3 MSE expands the lethal battlespace with a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, providing increased performance in altitude and range. PAC-3 MSE is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. The missile uses Hit-to-Kill technology, which engages threats through kinetic energy via body-to-body contact.