Lockheed Martin to build Patriot PAC-3 radar-guided air-defense missiles in half-billion-dollar order

Sept. 6, 2023
The Patriot PAC-3 missile is a high velocity interceptor that defeats incoming targets by body-to-body direct impact.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Ground-to-air missile experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will build additional Patriot PAC-3 air-defense missiles under terms of a $556.1 million order announced in late July.

Officials of the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., are asking the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Grand Prairie, Texas, production of the Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept on Target (PATRIOT) Advanced Capability-3 missile.

The PAC-3 is a hit-to-kill ground-to-air missile designed to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. It is a high- to medium-altitude long-range air defense missile that defends ground combat forces and high-value military equipment.

The PAC-3 missile is a high velocity interceptor that defeats incoming targets by body-to-body direct impact. PAC-3 missiles, when deployed in a Patriot battery, provide 16 PAC-3s on a Patriot launcher.

Related: Army taps Raytheon for radar-guided surface-to-air missiles for anti-aircraft, missile-defense applications

Lockheed Martin also handles the PAC-3 missile segment upgrade, which consists of the PAC-3 missile, PAC-3 missile canisters in four packs, a fire solution computer, and an enhanced launcher electronics system.

The PAC-3 missile uses a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors, and inertial and radar guidance to navigate.

The radar-guided missile flies to an intercept point specified prior to launch by its ground-based fire solution computer, which is embedded in the system's engagement control station. The PAC-3 system can update target trajectory data during missile flyout with a radio frequency uplink and downlink.

Shortly before arrival at the intercept point, the PAC-3 missile’s on board Ka-band radar seeker acquires the target, selects the optimal aim point, and guides the missile to its target.

Related: Boeing eyes radar-guided Harpoon anti-ship coastal-defense missiles for U.S. allies in $1.17 billion deal

The PAC-3's attitude control consists of small short-duration solid- propellant rocket motors in the missile forebody, and fire to refine the missile’s course to ensure the missile hits its target.

The PAC-3 MSE missile is the primary U.S. interceptor for the multinational MEADS transatlantic development program focused on the next generation of air and missile defense.

On this order Lockheed Martin will do the work in Lake Mary, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, and Ocala, Fla.; Huntsville, Ala.; Foothill Ranch and Glendale, Calif.; Joplin, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; Phoenix; Vergennes, Vt.; Elma, N.Y.; Camden, Ark.; Chelmsford, Mass.; Grand Prairie and Lufkin, Texas, and should be finished by December 2032. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/missiles-and-fire-control.html, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal at https://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa/.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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