Patriot PAC-3 MSE Missile Intercept
Another successful test today was an intercept of a tactical ballistic missile by Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE); the test conducted at US Army White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, as part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense test. Two PAC-3 MSE missiles were launched to defend against the incoming target, with the first interceptor hitting the target, as planned. “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.” commented Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
The PAC-3 MSE builds on the battle-proven PAC-3 missile, introducing a larger, dual-pulse solid-rocket motor, larger control fins and upgraded support systems. With these enhancements PAC-3 MSE nearly doubles the PAC-3 reach improves performance against increasingly sophisticated ballistic- and cruise-missile threats.
This intercept was the third successful PAC-3 or PAC-3 MSE test since November. On Nov. 12, a PAC-3 interceptor destroyed an airborne target as part of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System flight test; and on Nov. 19, a PAC-3 successfully intercepted a Patriot-as-a-Target (PAAT) at White Sands Missile Range. The Patriot also scored several kills recently against real targets – intercepting Scud and SS-21 ‘Tochka’ ballistic missiles, launched from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia.