Missile SegmentLockheed Martin has received a $260 M not-to-exceed contract for a Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) to the battle-proven Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile. The MSE provides performance enhancement to the missile that will counter evolving threat advancements. The US Army Aviation & Missile Command, Huntsville, AL, is the contracting agency.

The MSE program includes flight software, flight testing, modification and qualification of subsystems, production planning and tooling, and support for full Patriot system integration. The MSE program will span 51 months, with flight testing scheduled to begin in September 2006. The flight test program includes one controlled test flight and two guided intercept tests against threat representative tactical ballistic missiles (TBM). All testing will be conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

The hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile is the world's most advanced, capable and powerful theater air defense missile. It defeats the entire threat to the Patriot Air Defense System: tactical ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction, advanced cruise missiles and aircrafts. PAC-3 missiles significantly increase the Patriot System's fire power, since 16 PAC-3s are loaded on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the older Patriot PAC-2 missiles. The current PAC-3 Missile production rate, authorized in October 2002, includes an FY'03 production quantity of 100 missiles and 108 missiles in FY'04. Production rates are ramping up and will continue through the next decade.