DALLAS, April 28 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a first production order from the U.S. Army for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement.
The PAC-3 MSE, an anti-missile missile, features a larger, more powerful dual-pulse motor for added thrust for range and altitude, along with larger fins and other structural modifications for enhanced agility.
The larger fins collapse to allow the missile to fit into the current PAC-3 launcher. They also give the hit-to-kill interceptor more maneuverability against faster ballistic and cruise missiles.
As part of the first production order from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Lockheed will also produce launcher modification kits to allow PAC-3 launcher to control and launch the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missiles, as well as heritage Patriot missiles.
“These enhancements are the natural, pre-planned evolution of a system that was first demonstrated 20 years ago,” said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Every current Patriot-using nation is a candidate to upgrade their PAC-3 systems to the PAC-3 MSE.”
The Patriot-3 has a range of about 12.4 miles. The Missile Segment Enhancement, for which Lockheed is the prime contractor, will increase its range to more than 18 miles.