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Lockheed Martin invests in PAC-3 MSE integration for Aegis weapon system.

| Naval News Navy 2024

As maritime threats evolve, it's critical for naval forces to update their defensive technologies. The inclusion of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) into naval operations reflects an effort to address this need by providing a means to counter complex threats.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 US Navy's Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Thomas Hudner. (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

The combination of the PAC-3 MSE with the Aegis Weapon System signifies a strategic advancement in naval defense capabilities. This integration aims to augment the defensive posture of naval forces, enabling them to effectively counter complex threats, including those specifically designed to bypass naval defenses.

Technological investments have been made to ensure the PAC-3 MSE's compatibility with existing naval defense systems, including the MK41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) and the Aegis Weapon System. A significant milestone was achieved with the successful test of the PAC-3 MSE’s upgraded communication capabilities with the Aegis Weapon System, facilitated by an enhancement to its datalink. This modification allows for communication at frequencies compatible with Aegis. A forthcoming live-fire test is expected to further demonstrate this capability.

Overview of PAC-3 MSE

The PAC-3 MSE is designed to intercept and neutralize a diverse array of airborne threats through direct impact, utilizing Hit-to-Kill technology. This capability is pivotal in addressing tactical ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft, and other threats, providing a critical layer of defense for naval operations.

Aegis Weapon System

Serving as a cornerstone of naval defense for the U.S. Navy and international allies, the Aegis Weapon System is a comprehensive combat system offering integrated air and missile defense capabilities. Its adaptability and continuous evolution through software and system upgrades enable it to remain at the forefront of maritime defense technology, effectively countering emerging threats.

MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS)

The integration of the PAC-3 MSE into the Aegis Weapon System necessitates its compatibility with the MK41 VLS, a foundational element of naval defense architecture. The MK41 VLS is recognized for its reliability and versatility in missile launching, contributing to the overall efficacy and resilience of maritime defense operations.

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