U.S. Approves Recertification of Taiwan’s PAC-3 Air Defense Missiles

The U.S. State Department has approved the recertification of Taiwan’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defense missiles for an estimated cost of $620 million.

The recertification is being executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 9.

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of Recertification of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles for an estimated cost of $620 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

Taiwan, through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), has requested to buy recertification of PAC-3 missiles, including the replacement of expiring Limited Life Components (LLCs) and certification testing in order to support an operational life of thirty years; Test and repair of PAC-3 missiles, including Stockpile Reliability Testing (SRT) and Field Returns; Repair and Return (R&R) of classified and unclassified PAC-3 missile items and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) component level parts; replenishment of classified and unclassified missile spares and GSE spares, as well as a seeker spares pool to improve the turnaround time of the repair and recertification efforts; air transportation services for missile processing; U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support; and other related elements of logistics support.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin, Camden, AZ.

This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. law and policy as expressed in Public Law 96-8.

According to a DSCA statement, this proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The statement said that the sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.

“This proposed sale will help sustain the recipient’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations. The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense.”

PAC-3

The family of Lockheed Martin PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3) missiles are high-velocity interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles (TBM), cruise missiles and aircraft. The missile defeats incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact.

The PAC-3 Missile uses a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors (ACMs) and inertial guidance to navigate. The missile flies to an intercept point specified prior to launch by its ground-based fire solution computer, which is embedded in the engagement control station. Target trajectory data can be updated during missile flyout by means of a radio frequency uplink/downlink.

Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (PAC-3 CRI) Interceptor
Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptor missile (Lockheed Martin Photo)

Shortly before arrival at the intercept point, the PAC-3 Missile’s on board Ka band seeker acquires the target, selects the optimal aim point and terminal guidance is initiated. The ACMs, which are small, short duration solid propellant rocket motors located in the missile forebody, fire explosively to refine the missile’s course to assure body-to-body impact.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the PAC-3 Missile, a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four-packs), a fire solution computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System (ELES). These elements are integrated into the Patriot system, a high to medium-altitude, long-range air defense missile system providing air defense of ground combat forces and high-value assets.

PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot air defense battery, significantly increase the Patriot system’s firepower, since 16 PAC-3s load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four Patriot PAC-2 missiles.

Fourteen nations – the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland, Sweden and Bahrain have chosen PAC-3 missiles to provide missile defense capabilities.



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