A Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor has completed testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

During the test, the interceptor detected, tracked and intercepted a tactical ballistic missile target.

The test verified missile software and hardware component upgrades.

These upgrades will maintain the performance of the PAC-3 MSE interceptor to keep pace against evolving threats.

Combat proven hit-to-kill interceptors, the PAC-3 family of missiles defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

Currently, ten nations comprising the US, Qatar, Japan, Romania, Poland, the UAE, Sweden, Korea, Bahrain and Germany have signed agreements to procure PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control PAC-3 Programs vice-president Brenda Davidson said: “We are continuously looking for ways to improve the PAC-3 missile, increase its capabilities and expand the missile’s ability to defend against the growing number of potential threats.

“Flight tests like this demonstrate Lockheed Martin’s commitment to increasing the performance of PAC-3.”

Last month, Lockheed Martin secured a $6.07bn contract for the production of PAC-3 MSE interceptors and associated equipment for the US Army.

Under the contract, production and delivery will include PAC-3 MSE interceptors, launcher modification kits and associated equipment.

In July last year, the US State Department approved the sale of 50 PAC-3 MSE with support to Germany.

The $401m foreign military sale also included PAC-3 MSE launcher conversion kits, missile round trainers (MRTs), empty round trainers (ERTs), launcher stations (LS) heater controllers, PAC-3 ground support equipment, and concurrent spare parts.