posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 10:54 AM
LM Exploring Sea-Based Version Of PAC-3 Interceptor
07/29/2005 08:52:46 AM
By Marc Selinger
Lockheed Martin has begun doing significant work on the possibility of adapting its land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptor for
use on ships.
Michael Trotsky, vice president for air and missile defense systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said July 28 that the company has
received two $8 million contracts from the U.S. Navy within the past two years to explore putting the PAC-3 missile on Aegis cruisers or destroyers.
Upcoming work includes developing a data link to allow the PAC-3 missile to talk with an Aegis ship's radar. The effort will include flying the data
link on an aircraft and having it communicate with an Aegis radar.
Trotsky said the work is a prelude to a potential competition to supply the Navy with a sea-based interceptor that could destroy short-range ballistic
missiles in their terminal phase of flight. The Navy has been looking for such a capability since its Navy Area program was canceled in 2001 due to
cost and schedule overruns.
"There's no competition on the books right now, but the contracts for us were basically given in anticipation of a competition occurring for the
sea-based terminal mission," he said.
Such a competition could occur within the next two years. Trotsky said Lockheed Martin's main competitor would be Raytheon's Standard Missile-6
(SM-6), also known as the Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM). SM-6 is initially being developed for the Navy to provide an improved capability
against aircraft and cruise missiles, but it has also been mentioned as a possibility for ballistic missile defense.
The ship-based PAC-3 would use the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) that Lockheed Martin is already developing for the Army mainly to increase the
missile's range and maneuverability.
The two missiles in question,
Pac-3 has a range of70km and maximum altitude is greater than 24km. The minimum flight time is the time to arm the missile, which is less than 9s, and
the maximum flight time is less than 3½mins.
THe SM-6 missile will take advantage of the proven capabilities of the Standard Missile airframe and semi-active guidance technology, merged with the
advanced seeker technology of Raytheon’s AMRAAM Air-to-Air missile. The combination of these two technologies will provide the Navy with the ability
to engage challenging targets, at extended ranges, well into the future.