U.S. Approves Sale of 34 PAC-3 MSE Interceptor Missiles to Netherlands

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 34 PAC-3 MSE interceptor missiles to the Netherlands under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Sept. 24.

The Government of the Netherlands has requested to buy 34 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles. Also included are eight kitted 2-pack PAC-3 MSE Missile Round Trainers (MRT), six kitted 2-pack PAC-3 MSE Empty Round Trainers (ERT), four PAC-3 MSE Skid Kits, one Lot of Classified PAC-3 MSE Concurrent Spare Parts (CSPs), one Lot of Unclassified PAC-3 MSE CSPs, and PAC-3 MSE repair and return processing support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $241 million.

The DSCA statement said that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve security of a NATO ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Northern Europe.

“This proposed sale will improve the Netherlands’ missile defense capability to meet current and future enemy threats. The Netherlands will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats, and provide direct support to coalition and security cooperation efforts”, the statement said.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed-Martin, Dallas, TX.

PAC-3 Interceptor Missile

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.

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.

PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot 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.

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.

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/PAC-3 MSE to provide missile defense capabilities. Out of these, ten nations – the United States, Qatar, Japan, Romania, Poland, the UAE, Sweden, Korea, Bahrain and Germany – have signed agreements to procure PAC-3 MSE interceptors.

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