PAC-3 MSE Missile

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Product Type:

Surface-to-Air Missile

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)

Prime Contractor:

Lockheed Martin Corporation

The PAC-3 MSE Missile

About the PAC-3/MSE Missile:

The Lockheed Martin Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) is a hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile. MSE evolves from the Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-3 missile, and provides a substantial performance improvement. The MSE Missile provides increased performance, greater altitude and range than the baseline PAC-3.

The MSE upgrade enhances the current PAC-3 missile design and improves it with a higher performance envelope, a dual pulse 11-inch diameter solid rocket motor design (developed and produced by Aerojet Rocketdyne), improved lethality, thermally hardened front-end, upgraded batteries, enlarged fixed fins, more responsive control surfaces, and upgraded guidance software. These improvements result in a more agile, lethal interceptor missile with enhanced insensitive munitions compliance. The MSE meets U.S. operational requirements to include firing from the Patriot Missile System, and is the internationally accepted baseline missile for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

The Army started purchasing the MSE missile in FY 2014 (Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP 1) and the current plan calls for the production of 1,125 MSE missiles over the life of the program. On October 6, 2015, Lockheed Martin reported it had delivered the first batch of PAC-3 MSE interceptors to the U.S. Army.

Following a successful flight test on July 8, 2016, the PAC-3 MSE interceptor achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The test demonstrated the interceptor's ability to detect, track, engage and intercept an aircraft.

On July 19, 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $68.9 million contract to prepare the PAC-3 production line for the introduction of the MSE. On April 28, 2014, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $611 million contract by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for the production of 92 PAC-3 MSE missiles and 50 Launcher Modifications Kits (LMKs). On July 24, 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.5 billion contract for production and delivery of PAC-3 MSE missiles for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of PAC-3 interceptors, associated equipment and spares for South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. On December 14, 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.1 billion contract for PAC-3 MSE interceptors for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of PAC-3 interceptors, launcher modification kits, associated equipment and spares for Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Qatar.

PAC-3 MSE Production Forecast:

A 15-year PAC-3 MSE production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year PAC-3 MSE production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Missile Forecast service.


The MSE missile is a hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile. Like the PAC-3, the missile provides the range, accuracy, and lethality to be effectively used against tactical ballistic missiles that have chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and conventional high explosive warheads. The MSE is capable of intercepting tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. The MSE's expanded engagement envelope, dual pulse motor, and other upgrades mean it has a range extended beyond the existing PAC-3 missile, thus filling a critical performance gap. The MSE's higher probability of kill results in greater protection for U.S. and allied forces, and critical assets.

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - PAC-3 MSE DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Lockheed Martin Corp.,
and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

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