PAC-3/MSE Missile

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Product Type:

Surface-to-Air Missile

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)

Prime Contractor:

Lockheed Martin Corporation

The PAC-3 MSE Missile

PAC-3 and PAC-3/MSE | Lockheed Martin Missile Production 2011-2030

Lockheed Martin Missile Production - Patriot PAC-3 and PAC-3/MSE

About the PAC-3/MSE Missile:

The Lockheed Martin Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) is a hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile. MSE evolves from the Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-3 missile, and provides a substantial performance improvement. The MSE Missile provides increased performance, greater altitude and range than the baseline PAC-3.

The MSE upgrade enhances the current PAC-3 missile design and improves it with a higher performance envelope, a dual pulse 11-inch diameter solid rocket motor design (developed and produced by Aerojet Rocketdyne), improved lethality, thermally hardened front-end, upgraded batteries, enlarged fixed fins, more responsive control surfaces, and upgraded guidance software. These improvements result in a more agile, lethal interceptor missile with enhanced insensitive munitions compliance. The MSE will meet U.S. operational requirements to include firing from the Patriot Missile System, and is the internationally accepted baseline missile for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

The Army started purchasing the MSE missile in FY 2014 (Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP 1) and the current plan calls for the production of 1,125 MSE missiles over the life of the program. On October 6, 2015, Lockheed Martin reported it had delivered the first batch of PAC-3 MSE interceptors to the U.S. Army.

Following a successful flight test on July 8, 2016, the PAC-3 MSE interceptor achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The test demonstrated the interceptor's ability to detect, track, engage and intercept an aircraft.

On July 19, 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $68.9 million contract to prepare the PAC-3 production line for the introduction of the MSE. On April 28, 2014, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $611 million contract by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for the production of 92 PAC-3 MSE missiles and 50 Launcher Modifications Kits (LMKs). On July 24, 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.5 billion contract for production and delivery of PAC-3 MSE missiles for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of PAC-3 interceptors, associated equipment and spares for South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. On December 14, 2015, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.1 billion contract for PAC-3 MSE interceptors for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of PAC-3 interceptors, launcher modification kits, associated equipment and spares for Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Qatar.

Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the PAC-3 MSE missile is $3.94 million in FY 2016. This compares to the $3.43 million unit cost (in FY 2012) of the MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 missile.

Program Cost:

The total procurement cost of the PAC-3 MSE program is estimated at $6.02 billion + $0.87 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds + military construction (MILCON) costs in support of the program in the amount of $10.5 million. This adds up to a total estimated program cost of $379.04 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


The MSE missile is a hit-to-kill, surface-to-air missile. Like the PAC-3, the missile provides the range, accuracy, and lethality to be effectively used against tactical ballistic missiles that have chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and conventional high explosive warheads. The MSE is capable of intercepting tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. The MSE's expanded engagement envelope, dual pulse motor, and other upgrades mean it has a range extended beyond the existing PAC-3 missile, thus filling a critical performance gap. The MSE's higher probability of kill results in greater protection for U.S. and allied forces, and critical assets.

FY 2016 DoD Program:

FY 2016 procurement dollars in the amount of $515.0 million supports the production of 112 MSE missiles (LRIP 4) and supporting equipment. Also, RDT&E funds in the amount of $2.3 million have been provided for the program.

FY 2017 DoD Program:

The FY 2017 Budget requests $423.2 million for the production of 85 MSE missiles and supporting equipment. No RDT&E funds have been requested for FY 17.

For more information, click to view the FY 2017 Army PAC-3/MSE Procurement Budget.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Lockheed Martin Corp.,
and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Specifications DoD Spending FY2017 Budget

Last Update: September 6, 2016.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Lockheed Martin: Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE)

Missile Defense Agency: Patriot PAC-3

YouTube: MSE | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Missile Segment Enhancement | Fact Sheet

Total PAC-3 MSE Program Cost:

 $6.90 billion ($6.02B procurement + $0.88B other)

PAC-3 MSE Procurement Objective:

  1,125 missiles

MSE U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the PAC-3 MSE Missile in FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016 and FY 2017
DoD Purchases of PAC-3 MSE Missiles in FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016 and FY 2017
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2013/14/15 + Budget for FYs 2016 + 2017

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE)

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of MSE Missiles (ARMY) RDT&E: PAC-3/MSE Missile (ARMY)

Missile Specifications: PAC-3 MSE

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Primary Function: Surface-to-air missile
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Propulsion: Aerojet Rocketdyne dual pulse solid rocket motor
Length: in ( m)
Diameter: in ( cm)
Wingspan: in ( cm)
Weight: lbs ( kg)
Speed: Mach 5+
Range: 18.9 nm/21.7 miles (35 km)
Seeker: Unknown
Guidance System: Unknown
Warhead: "Hit-to-kill" lethality enhancer explosive warhead
Price/Unit Cost: $3.94 million (in FY 2016)
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): July 8, 2016

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