Lockheed Martin said in a press release that it has demonstrated new upgrades to its Patriot PAC-3 air defense system after successfully intercepting tactical ballistic missiles during a flight test.
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“Flight tests like these demonstrate how we continue to evolve PAC-3 to ensure we remain ready for the 21st-century battlefield while also showcasing our record of reliability in the field,” said Brenda Davidson, vice president, PAC-3 Programs.
“The warfighter needs to know that the PAC-3 missiles protecting them are going to work, every time.”
During the tests, a PAC-3 MSE successfully intercepted a tactical ballistic missile target, validating missile and launcher software and hardware component upgrades.
The upgrades, which enable the future performance of the PAC-3 MSE interceptor to keep pace against expanding threats of today and tomorrow, will be incorporated into production over the next year.
Separately, two PAC-3 CRI missiles each successfully intercepted a tactical ballistic missile target in support of the U.S. Army’s Field Surveillance Program (FSP) that confirms the reliability and readiness of fielded PAC-3 missiles.
The tests marked the 17th and 18th successful PAC-3 CRI FSP intercepts, reconfirming the missile’s ability to detect, track and intercept threats while meeting fielded reliability requirements. The first PAC-3 MSE FSP flight test is scheduled to take place later this year.
Both U.S. Army-led flight tests demonstrated the unique capability of the PAC-3 family of missiles, the only combat-proven Hit-to-Kill interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.
PAC-3 missiles defend against incoming threats through direct body-to-body contact, delivering exponentially more kinetic energy on the target than can be achieved with blast-fragmentation kill mechanisms.
Fourteen nations have chosen PAC-3 CRI and PAC-3 MSE to provide missile defense capabilities.