Lockheed Martin's enhanced version of the combat-proven PAC-3 Missile, the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE), successfully intercepted a threat representative tactical ballistic missile target in the MSE battlespace today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The PAC-3 MSE Missile provides increased performance, greater altitude and range than the PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) Missile. The PAC-3 MSE Missile variant incorporates threat-driven and technology-enabled hardware and software upgrades to defend against the advancing threat set. The PAC-3 Missile is the only Patriot missile that utilizes hit-to-kill technology to engage incoming targets.
"We continue to test the PAC-3 MSE Missile at higher altitudes and against more challenging targets, and it continues to meet expectations," said Richard McDaniel, director of PAC-3 Missile Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We look forward to delivering this important enhanced capability to the warfighter in the near future."
The PAC-3 MSE Missile is packaged in a single canister that stacks to provide flexibility for the Patriot or Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) launcher load-out requirements. The PAC-3 MSE Missile was selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national MEADS in September 2006. The MEADS program completed Critical Design Review in 2010 and is now integrating and testing the radars, launchers, tactical operation centers and reloaders needed for system tests at White Sands Missile Range in 2012.
Lockheed Martin achieved the first-ever hit-to-kill intercept in 1984 with the Homing Overlay Experiment, using force of impact alone to destroy a mock warhead outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Further development and testing produced today's PAC-3 Missile, which was selected in 1993 to become the first hit-to-kill interceptor produced by the U.S. Government.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile. It also has considerable experience in missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and signal processing. The company makes significant contributions to all major U.S. missile defense systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships.