Colonel Frank Lozano, Programme Manager of the Lower Tier Project Office in the US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles and Space, took time during a SMD Symposium Missile Defence networking reception to briefly discuss his office’s leading priorities for PATRIOT.
“Demand for PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 MSE [Missile Segment Enhanced] is ‘going through the roof’,” the service program manager declared. Indeed, army is attempting to increase its annual capacity of the Lockheed Martin PAC-3MSE from the current 240 annual capacity to 350 in fiscal year 2020. That production figure could further climb. Col Lozano added. “Everyone wants MSE,” and with good reason. The MSE has a larger, dual-pulse, solid-fuel, rocket motor and larger control fins that double the missile’s range and improve performance against ballistic and cruise missile threats.
Col Lozano, further noted that the lower tier air and missile defence sensor (LTAMDS) is a, “hot ticket item,” with the acquisition programme taking on urgency at the direction of the US Army and US Congress. LTAMDS will be a brand new 360-degree, lower-tier AMD sensor for the PATRIOT system. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Technovative Applications (Brea, California) have US Army contracts to compete for an LTAMDS award.
The service is also accelerating its efforts, based on US combatant commander requirements, to more fully integrate Raytheon's PATRIOT and Lockheed Martin’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) weapon systems. A key area for development in this effort would allow PATRIOT to take advantage of Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2’s long-range sensing capability. Five of the transportable, X-band, high resolution AN/TPY-2 radars, are forward based to support regional defence against all classes of ballistic missiles. “There are certain threats THAAD should go after, others should be ‘delegated’ to PATRIOT,” Col Lozano noted.
Of no surprise to MONCh readers, the demand for the Raytheon PATRIOT weapon platform is burgeoning internationally. Most recently, Poland and Romania signed contracts to buy PATRIOT early this year. “A letter of agreement with Sweden for PATRIOT is near [actually it is here, story here -The Ed.], and we have a couple of [unspecified] new partners on the horizon,” the army programme leader concluded.