Lockheed Martin PAC-3 MSE interceptor destroys air-breathing target

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Army photograph

A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 MSE missile blasts out of its launcher en route to an airborne target intercept during a test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

A Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missile successfully intercepted a full-scale air breathing target at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., July 8, 2016, as part of the Post Deployment Build eight (PDB-8) test program.

The launch demonstrated the interceptor’s ability to detect, track, engage and intercept an aircraft.

“This test series has demonstrated the effectiveness of the PAC-3 MSE hit-to-kill interceptor against a wide range of targets, including air-breathing targets and ballistic missiles. We’re proud to deliver this overmatch capability to our warfighters,” said Scott Arnold, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The PAC-3 Missile is a high-velocity interceptor that uses hit-to-kill technology to defend against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

Building on the battle-proven PAC-3 missile, the PAC-3 MSE brings a larger, dual-pulse solid rocket motor, larger control fins and upgraded support system. The enhancements nearly double the missile’s reach, and dramatically improve performance against evolving ballistic- and cruise-missile threats.