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Lockheed receives PAC-3 missile contract

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DALLAS (BNS): Lockheed Martin has received a contract for the first production order of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile segment enhancement (MSE).

Under the $611 million contract, awarded by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command, the PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles will receive performance enhancements in terms of both altitude and range.

The contract includes the production of both PAC-3 MSE missiles and launcher modifications kits.

Under the PAC-3 MSE initiative, Lockheed will integrate the larger, more powerful two-pulse solid rocket motor into the missile for added thrust, along with larger fins and other structural modifications for more agility.

The modifications will extend the missile's range by up to 50 percent.

The larger fins, which will collapse to allow the missile to fit into the current PAC-3 launcher, will give the interceptor more manoeuverability against faster and more sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles.

The PAC-3 MSE programme includes flight software, flight testing, modification and qualification of the subsystems, production planning and tooling, and support for full Patriot system integration.

Lockheed had received the contract in 2003 to increase the altitude and range of the PAC-3 missile. The launcher modification kits will enable the Patriot Configuration 3 launcher to control and launch the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missiles, as well as heritage Patriot missiles.

The long-range PAC-3 surface-to-air missile system is capable of tracking and shooting down incoming missiles. Equipped with a 'hit-to-kill' interceptor, the missile can take on tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

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