Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: ALHTK and MIM-104F
Origin: United States of America
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
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Description: The Patriot missile was designed to counter short-range (also known as theater) ballistic missiles. It features a track-via-missile guidance system that allows MPQ-53 radar to steer it toward the target (incoming ballistic missile). In the terminal phase of the flight the Patriot missile transmits targets position updated data to the ground stations and the MSQ-104's computer sends back to the Patriot missile correction calculations. The corrected data enables the Patriot missile to intercept the ballistic missile. Usually the speed of both the ballistic missile and the Patriot missile are in excess of 5,000 km/h. The Patriot missile was intended against ballistic targets and aircraft. The production Patriot missile is supplied inside an aluminum canister that acts as a launch tube and storage container.
The Patriot PAC-3 missile is a smaller new design featuring hit-to-kill capability, Ka-band seeker (cornerstone of the hit-to-kill capability) and high agility to outperform future threats. Each Patriot canister can accommodate up to 4 smaller PAC-3 missiles increasing the number of missiles per launching station to 16. The PAC-3 missile is specially suitable against ballistic targets protected by heavy electronic countermeasures.
On August 12, 2004, Lockheed-Martin was awarded a $33.9 million foreign military sales contract to supply Patriot PAC-3 ground equipment (enhanced launcher electronic systems/ELES and fire solution computers) to the Netherlands. Patriot PAC-3 interceptors contract was anticipated by the end of 2004. In early September 2004, Japan requested a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the United States of America government for up to 20 PAC-3s and related services and equipment worth $79 million. The aim of Japan was to launch a PAC-3 co-production program to feed their existing Patriot air defense systems.
The first international sales of Patriot PAC-3 missiles occurred on January 31, 2005. Lockheed-Martin was awarded a $532 million contract for 156 missiles as well as launcher upgrade kits, spares and associated ground equipment to be delivered to the US Army, the Netherlands and Japan. Under the terms of the contract, the Netherlands was scheduled to receive 32 missiles through FMS program, Japan 16 missiles through FMS and the US Army to take delivery of the remaining 108 PAC-3s. On May 4, 2006, the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) awarded Lockheed Martin a $379 million contract for the production of 112 Patriot PAC-3 missiles. The contract included launcher modification kits, program management and engineering, as well as spares and other equipment.
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