Lockheed Martin has received a contract for a Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) to the battle-proven Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile. The PAC-3 MSE provides performance enhancements to the missile that will counter evolving threat advancements.
The PAC-3 MSE program includes flight software, flight testing, modification and qualification of subsystems, production planning and tooling, and support for full Patriot system integration.
Under the PAC-3 MSE initiative the company will incorporate a larger, more powerful motor into the missile for added thrust, along with larger fins and other structural modifications for more agility. The modifications will extend the missile’s reach by up to 50 percent. The larger fins, which will collapse to allow the missile to fit into the current PAC-3 launcher, will give the interceptor more maneuverability against faster and more sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles.
The flight test program includes one controlled test flight and two guided intercept tests against threat representative tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs). All testing will be conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM.
These enhancements are the natural, pre-planned evolution of a system that was baselined in 1994. The MSE is a true spiral development that will enable a very capable interceptor to grow to the requirements of defeating new and evolving threats. These enhancements will assure that the PAC-3 Missile Segment of the Patriot Air Defense System will be capable of defeating these threats far into the future.
The ‘hit-to-kill’ PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, capable and powerful theater air defense missile. It defeats the entire threat to the Patriot Air Defense System: tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) carrying weapons of mass destruction, advanced cruise missiles and aircraft. PAC-3 Missiles significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3s load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the older Patriot PAC-2 missiles.
The current PAC-3 Missile production rate, authorized in October 2002, includes an FY‘03 production quantity of 100 missiles and 108 missiles in FY‘04. Production rates are ramping up and will continue through the next decade.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the PAC-3 Missile, a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a fire solution computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System (ELES). These elements will be integrated into the Patriot system, a high to medium altitude, long-range air defense missile system providing air defense of ground combat forces and high-value assets.
The PAC-3 Missile has been selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Managed by the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA), MEADS is a model transatlantic development program focused on the next generation of air and missile defense. MEADS will focus on risk reduction, application of key technologies and validation of a system design incorporating the PAC-3 Missile.
PAC-3 is a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin Corporation.