The US Navy working with Lockheed Martin is a step closer to the successful integration of the Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor with the AN/SPY-1 Radar, a central component in the Aegis Weapon System.
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Lockheed Martin is investing in a PAC-3 MSE/Aegis integration that could deliver a proven, integrated air and missile defence capability with the growing capacity to help maritime customers defend against advanced, manoeuvrable threats across the maritime, air, and space domains respectively.
Tom Copeman, vice-president, Naval Systems, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, welcomed this announcement, saying, “This successful test is a major step forward to fully integrate PAC-3 MSE into the Aegis Weapon System. A PAC-3 MSE/Aegis integration delivers a hardened defence to maritime fleets on an affordable, rapid timeline.”
As part of the integration process, Lockheed Martin had to modify the PAC-3 MSE Radio Frequency Data Link to communicate with the SPY-1 radar, the central radar system of the Aegis combat system installed aboard the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and Australia’s Hobart Class destroyers.
SPY-1 operates on an S-band frequency, which required Lockheed Martin to convert PAC-3 MSE’s existing dual-band datalink to a tri-band datalink to communicate at S-band.
PAC-3 MSE’s unmatched hit-to-kill capabilities defends against advanced threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. Currently, the PAC-3 MSE program is ramping up to 550 MSEs a year, with plans to continue growing.