In a U.S. Army-led test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missile broke its own distant record to take out an air-breathing target simulating a cruise missile or fixed-wing aircraft.
The Army’s innovative version of the Patriot missile broke its own distance record to intercept a target, as outlined by Lockheed Martin, the missile’s manufacturer.The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor acquired an air-breathing threat target in a very test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, July 26.
According to Lockheed, this marks the furthest distance a PAC-3 MSE missile has intercepted an air-breathing target. These types of targets mimic the flight profile of fixed-wing aircraft or cruise missiles.
The Army-led flight test demonstrated the missile’s “unique” hit-to-kill capability, this means the missile hits the target dead on. The test also confirmed PAC-3 MSE’s detection and tracking capabilities.
“PAC-3 MSE remains successful against today’s evolving threats, and also this most current test validates its effectiveness at extreme distances,” Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in the statement.
Lockheed Martin is preparing to double its PAC-3 MSE production within the long term as the Army moves into full-rate production. That decision to maneuver forward with a full production rate were only available in April this season. And the service has already made plans in its FY19 budget request to boost the amount of missiles it’ll buy moving forward.
On top from the anticipated Army orders, five countries have signed on buy MSE missiles – Qatar, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Romania, with Poland being the most current customer. Sweden states it intends to purchase the Patriot system as well as MSE missiles, but has yet to sign off around the deal.
Romania, Poland and Sweden are hoped for to bring about the increase in MSE production with a possible 576 missiles total based off of planned initial orders.