Battlespace IT

Army deal upgrades PATRIOT missile software, radar

A vital cog in the Army’s land-based missile defense system got a boost this week when the Department of Defense announced that Lockheed Martin had won a $13.4 million modification to an existing Army deal to improve radar, fire-control technology and flight software for its PATRIOT missile.

 The modification includes engineering services for phased array tracking radar intercept on the PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) - also known as PAC-3 MSE.

 “The PAC-3 MSE program includes flight software, flight testing, modification and qualification of subsystems, production planning and tooling, and support for full Patriot system integration,” according to Lockheed.

 The PAC-3, which is deployed in military theaters around the world, is a lower-tier, hit-to-kill missile and member of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. It features a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors and inertial navigation.

 To intercept an incoming missile, it steers towards a predetermined intercept point chosen by its ground-based fire solution computer, selects the proper trajectory, and then applies a direct, body-to-body hit on the target.

 The missile system also functions in tandem with the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense, THAAD, system to provide the U.S. with a “multi-tier theater defense.”

 Lockheed Martin has exported its highly-touted PAC-3 MSE to several U.S. allies. Earlier this year, the defense company secured a $92.7 million contract modification to supply Qatar with a PAC-3 and Missile Segment Enhancement Multi-Band Radio Frequency Data Link obsolescence redesign. And in 2014 they were awarded a $28.4 million contract modification to Kuwait to implement a Launcher Modification Kit Phase II Redesign for the PAC-3.

 The full $13.4 million modification amount agreed upon for this most recent contract was obligated at the time of the award. Work will be performed at the Army Reserve Center in Grand Prairie, Texas and at the White Sands Missile Reserve in White Sands, New Mexico. The estimated completion date is January 30, 2018. Army Contracting Command, is the contracting activity.

About the Author

Tim Broderick is a freelance writer for Defense Systems.

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