DALLAS, June 7 (UPI) -- New Patriot missiles enhanced by Lockheed Martin successfully destroyed threat-representative targets over New Mexico this week, Lockheed Martin said.
In the first of two flight tests, two ripple-fired PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles were used. The first intercepted and destroyed a target while the second self-destructed as planned.
In a flight test at White Sands Missile Range, a PAC-3 MSE destroyed a BQM-74 cruise missile target.
"Today's [Thursday's] test provides the final flight test data required to demonstrate the design maturity of the PAC-3 MSE configuration and its readiness to enter into production," said Richard McDaniel, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Additionally, we demonstrated for the first time a multi-target engagement with MSE interceptors."
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the PAC-3 MSE program, which features new flight software, testing, and modification and qualification of sub-systems.
PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE Missiles "significantly increase the system's firepower," allowing 16 PAC-3 or 12 MSE Missiles to be loaded in place on a launcher instead of just four legacy PAC-2 missiles.