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Taiwan interested in Patriot PAC 3s and upgraded PAC 2s.

| 2018

The Taiwanese military plans to acquire six sets of Patriot Advanced Capability - 3 (PAC-3) missiles and upgrade kits for its PAC-2 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Taiwan operates the Patriot air defense system.

Taiwan interested in Patriot PAC 3s and upgraded PAC 2s
Firing of a Lockheed Martin Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

Along with other technology transfers, this deal is worth NT$179.1 billion (approximately $6 billion). The U.S. could deliver these upgrade kits by 2021. Lockheed Martin will transfer technology and training to Taiwan to allow its defense industry to produce aerospace and military grade titanium.

Let's remind that the most modern/current variant of Patriot is called Patriot Configuration 3+, not PAC-3. PAC-3 is one of the missiles used by Configuration 3+, but as Patriot is an entire system, not just a missile, the Config 3+ enhancements involve a whole suite of upgrades and capabilities. One of them is enabling the system to take advantage of the PAC-3 MSE capabilities, but there are many other things, such as a better user interface and increased reliability, that Config 3+ has.

The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the United States Army and several allied nations. Patriot uses an advanced aerial interceptor missile and high performance radar systems. The Patriot system is modular and highly mobile. A battery-sized element can be emplaced in less than 1 hour. The latest version is the PAC-3. Due to miniaturization, a single canister can hold four PAC-3 missiles (as opposed to one PAC-2 missile per canister). The PAC-3 missile is also more maneuverable than previous variants, due to 180 tiny pulse solid propellant rocket motors mounted in the forebody of the missile (called Attitude Control Motors, or ACMs) which serve to fine align the missile trajectory with its target to achieve hit-to-kill capability. The PAC-3 can hit ballistic missile up to 20km.


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