Lockheed Martin was awarded a $945 million contract to produce Patriot missiles and ground support equipment for the U.S., Qatar and Saudi Arabia, a U.S. Department of Defense press release said.
The $944,888,827 modification to an earlier contract is for initial Fiscal 2018 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) production, including “54 U.S. Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, 24 Qatar MSE missiles, 130 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) missiles and associated ground support equipment,” the Thursday, December 21 release said.
Work is expected to be completed by January 31, 2021.
The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE), a follow-on variant of the PAC-3 missile, is a high velocity, hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile capable of intercepting and destroying tactical ballistic missiles and other air-breathing aerial threats. It uses a higher performance solid rocket motor, more responsive control surfaces and upgraded guidance software, among other improvements.
The PAC-3 MSE employs kinetic energy to destroy targets through its hit-to-kill capability and, according to the Defense Technical Information Center, provides the “range, accuracy, and lethality to effectively defend against TBMs armed with weapons of mass destruction.” The PAC-3 MSE requires minor modifications to the Patriot launching station.
Sales of Patriot systems have been brisk in recent months. On November 30, Raytheon said Romania had signed agreement to purchase Patriot air defense system. A fortnight earlier, on November 17, the U.S. approved a Poland request for the sale of Patriot anti-missile systems for $10.5 billion, while earlier in November, Sweden said it would request the sale of the Patriot system, with the aim of having it fully operational by 2025.