PAC-3 MSE missile launcher

Lockheed Martin’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile has successfully demonstrated its tactical ballistic projectile (TBM) interception capabilities during an operational testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

Conducted by the US Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), the testing involved three incoming targets, including two Patriot-As-A-Target TBMs and one MQM-107 Streaker unmanned target drone.

The second TBM target was successfully engaged by a ripple launch of two PAC-3 missiles during the trials, achieving all test objectives.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business PAC-3 Missile programmes vice president Richard McDaniel said that the missile continued to perform according to expectations under challenging conditions.

”This was our third consecutive successful PAC-3 Missile flight test this year. With each successful test, the PAC-3 Missile adds to its legacy of proven performance,” McDaniel added.

"With each successful test, the PAC-3 Missile adds to its legacy of proven performance."

Three additional PAC-3 missiles are scheduled to undergo operational testing in the second half of 2012, which also include flight tests to demonstrate the missile segment enhancement (MSE) capability in both the Patriot and Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS).

PAC-3 is an advanced, hit-to-kill air defence projectile weapon designed to defeat incoming tactical ballistic miles (TBMs), cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by direct, body-to-body impact.

The PAC-3 MSE upgrade include integration of Patriot system with a PAC-3 missile, a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor, PAC-3 missile canisters in four packs, a fire solution computer, as well as an enhanced launcher electronics system (ELES) to offer enhanced performance, greater altitude and range.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control serves as prime contractor for the PAC-3 MSE missile upgrade, which was selected as primary interceptor for the MEADS in September 2006.

Image: A US Army soldier conducting a maintenance check on a PAC-3 MSE missile launcher. Photo: courtesy of Lyta79.