US Army conducts flight test of Lockheed’s enhanced PAC-3 missile

10 December 2015 (Last Updated December 10th, 2015 18:30)

Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile segment enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) missile has successfully intercepted a target during a US Army flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

PAC-3 MSE

Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile segment enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) missile has successfully intercepted a target during a US Army flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Upgraded with an improvements suite known as Post-Deployment Build 8 (PDB-8), the Patriot system tracked and engaged a ballistic missile target with PAC-3 MSE missiles.

Two PAC-3 MSE missiles were launched, and the first interceptor hit the target as planned.

The intercept was the third successful PAC-3 test since November.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control PAC-3 programmes vice-president Scott Arnold said: "This successful test is another strong demonstration of the PAC-3 MSE interceptor's proven reliability and advanced capability.

"We anticipate these innovative interceptors will play an increasingly critical role."

"With enhanced capability and range, we anticipate these innovative interceptors will play an increasingly critical role in defending against evolving missile threats around the globe."

Last month, a PAC-3 interceptor destroyed an airborne target during the US Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System flight test.

A PAC-3 also intercepted a Patriot-as-a-Target (PAAT).

The PAC-3 missile is a high-velocity interceptor designed to destroy incoming threats, such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft using hit-to-kill technology.

The new interceptors feature improved mobility and range, and are expected to significantly upgrade the army's missile defence capabilities against evolving threats worldwide.

The missile currently offers defence capabilities for six nations, including the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, the UAE, and Taiwan.


Image: A PAC-3 MSE interceptor streaks toward its target during a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.