Lockheed Martin received a $68.9 million contract to prepare the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile production line for the introduction of the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) version of the combat-proven PAC-3 Missile.
The PAC-3 MSE Missile provides increased performance, greater altitude and range than current PAC-3 missiles. The PAC-3 MSE Missile will be packaged in a single canister that stacks to provide flexibility for the Patriot air defense system launcher load-out requirements. The new contract covers preparation of tooling and test equipment at the company’s production facility at Camden, Ark., as well as other sites and subcontractors, in anticipation of a production decision by the U.S. Army in 2013.
The MSE is being developed under a spiral development of the Patriot missile, the MSE Missile was selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national MEADS in September 2006. However, lacking clear US committment to follow on with fileding the system, the future of the MEADS is unclear.
The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the highly agile hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a fire solution computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System (ELES). These elements will be integrated into the Patriot system. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system.