PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3)
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The Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept of Target (PATRIOT) Missile protects ground forces and critical assets at all echelons from advanced aircraft, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles (TBM). The PATRIOT Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) is the Army’s premier guided air and missile defense (AMD) system providing highly reactive hit-to-kill capability in both range and altitude while operating in all environments.

The combat element of the PATRIOT system is the fire unit, primarily consisting of a radar set (RS), engagement control station (ECS) and launching stations (LS). The RS provides airspace surveillance, target detection, discrimination, identification, classification, simultaneous tracking of targets, missile guidance and engagement support. The LS performs transport and missile launch functions and is remotely operated from the ECS, which provides command and control. The LS has a load-out capacity of between 12 and 16 PAC-3 missiles depending on configuration. The PAC-3 missile, initially fielded in 2001, introduced hit-to-kill technology for greater lethality against TBM, cruise missiles and aircraft. The combination of a highly responsive airframe and attitude control motors generates an angle-of-attack that would not be achievable with actuator-driven aerodynamic control surfaces alone.

The PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE), fielded in 2015, represents the next generation PAC-3 missile and provides expanded battlespace performance against evolving threats. The PAC-3 MSE improves upon the original PAC-3 capability with a higher performance solid rocket motor, modified lethality enhancer, more responsive control surfaces, upgraded guidance software and insensitive munitions improvements.

PAC-3 milestone authority was assigned to the Army in 2004. The Army Acquisition Executive is the Milestone Decision Authority for the PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE programs. The Army continues to modernize PATRIOT through phased efforts to maintain and improve system capabilities in the complex threat environment. This modernization provides greater resilience against advanced threats and leverages the enlarged engagement area afforded by the PAC-3 MSE interceptor. PATRIOT is transitioning to the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System networked architecture.


PATRIOT is a combat-proven ground-based AMD system that is providing critical AMD protection to the warfighter in 17 countries. Fourteen partner nations have acquired or deployed the PATRIOT System in support of their AMD requirements.


  • Advanced multifunction radar
  • Engagement control operations
  • Launcher capable of remote operations
  • Deployed by fire units organized within a battalion
  • Supported by ancillary communications and maintenance ground support equipment
  • Designed to defend against current and emerging threats


1QFY16: PAC-3 MSE First Unit Equipped
4QFY16: PAC-3 MSE Initial Operational Capability
1QFY18: PAC-3 MSE Initial Operational Test & Evaluation
3QFY18: PAC-3 MSE Full Rate Production (FRP) Army System Acquisition Review Council
FY18: Post-Deployment Build-8 Development Testing, Software Capability Fielding and Hardware Upgrades (Radar Digital Processor)



  • PAC-3 MSE capability integration within the Integrated
    Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System
    network architecture
  • Execute PAC-3 MSE FRP
  • Significant Foreign Military Sales interest in PAC-3 MSE

Foreign Military Sales

Current PAC-3 International Partners: Germany, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and United Arab Emirates


  • Missile Program Management Team: Lockheed Martin (Dallas, TX)
  • Missile Assembly: Lockheed Martin (Camden, AR)
  • System Integration/Ground Equipment: Raytheon (Andover, MA)