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More flight-testing slated for PAC-3 and Aegis

PAC-3 missiles are being tested in operations with Aegis Combat Systems. (Lockheed Martin)

Having proved it can operate the PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3) missile with Aegis Ashore, Lockheed Martin is now set to conduct additional flight tests at White Sands in early 2024 using the Aegis Combat System, Joe DePietro, company vice-president and general manager for Naval Combat and Missile Defense Systems, told Janes on 4 April during the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2023 conference held in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Aegis Ashore testing with PAC-3 took place during September and November 2022, he said.

β€œWe are doing a lot of work with PAC-3 integration into Aegis,” he said. β€œIt would be complementary to Standard Missile-6 (SM-6). You could reserve SM-6s for the missions they are best suited for and use PAC-3 for missile defence. This could be [a] game changer, a gap filler.”

To fully integrate into the Aegis Weapon System, Lockheed Martin is investing in PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) integration with the MK 41 vertical launching system (VLS).

Lockheed Martin is working on a guidance-control modification to establish an S-band uplink with the PAC-3, he said.

β€œWe're talking about integration, not invention,” he said.

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