Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 hits the bullseye in LTAMDS radar integration

The Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 has successfully engaged air-breathing threats with Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) radar.

Harry McNeil November 21 2023

In a moment at White Sands Missile Range, Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) demonstrates hit-to-kill intercept performance, marking a leap forward in modernised air and missile defence strategies.

Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 succeeded as it integrated with the LTAMDS radar during a flight test. This successful engagement against an air-breathing threat signifies a step in the evolution of the US Army's defence strategy.

During the planned flight test, PAC-3 sent and received data from the LTAMDS radar, showcasing its ability to maintain the proven hit-to-kill intercept performance. This marks a significant moment for integrating technology into the US Army's defence arsenal, providing a shield against evolving threats.

Brenda Davidson, vice-president of PAC-3 programmes at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, expressed the significance of this achievement, stating: "Today's test is another example of how Lockheed Martin is advancing modernised air and missile defence capabilities for 21st century security. Integrating with LTAMDS is a crucial step towards fielding a modernised IAMD [integrated air and missile defence] solution for the US Army to keep our soldiers ahead of evolving threats."

Preceding the flight test, Lockheed Martin collaborated closely with the US Army, conducting a series of ground tests and captive carry tests. This preparation was built upon the previously demonstrated PAC-3 capability within the US Army's Integrated Battle Command System.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense successfully delivered the first LTAMDS radar to the US Army in 2022. Concurrently, Poland was the inaugural international customer to integrate LTAMDS into its WISŁA air and missile defence system.

This could be an important development for Poland's military capabilities as the key components under Poland's WISŁA system include PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles and LTAMDS radar.

With hit-to-kill technology, PAC-3 is a defence against a spectrum of threats, delivering direct body-to-body contact that generates more kinetic energy on the target than traditional blast-fragmentation mechanisms. 

Effective against current and evolving threats including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, PAC-3's successful integration with LTAMDS aims to ensure that soldiers remain at the forefront of security in the face of dynamic challenges.

This month, Switzerland became the 15th country to select Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles. The $2.2bn deal includes the purchase of five Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units.

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