Army Demonstrates Remote Launch Capability In PAC-3 MSE Test

The Army last weekend successfully tested its latest Patriot missile interceptor in a remote launch configuration, a first for the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE), Lockheed Martin [LMT] reported on Thursday.

The Lockheed Martin-built PAC-3 MSE hit-to-kill interceptor was launched Sept. 17 from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, remote from the Patriot missile defense radar and successfully intercepted a target vehicle launched from Wake Island in the Pacific.

Launch of PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement interceptor. Photo: Lockheed Martin

Launch of PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement interceptor. Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin said the remote launch “demonstrated the expanded defended footprint” of the Patriot system with the radar and launcher in separate locations. The test also showed the system’s ability to detect, track and intercept an incoming threat, the company said.

The PAC-3 MSE system achieved initial operating capability with the Army in 2016 and is in the service’s inventory. The MSE features a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, that gives the missile longer range and greater performance. The dual-pulse motor is supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne [AJRD].

The Patriot Target Vehicle (PTV) was launched by Orbital ATK [OA] for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and flew a southerly course over the Western Pacific into the Reagan Test Site Kwajalein Atoll. The PTV launch was the fifth successful target launch, Orbital ATK said.

Raytheon [RTN] is the prime contractor for the Patriot integrated air and missile defense system.

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