The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $700 million. The proposed sale of the PAC-3 MSE missiles will enhance the capability of Switzerland’s PATRIOT missile defense system. The proposed sale supports Switzerland’s goal of improving national and territorial defense as well as interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. Switzerland will use the PATRIOT system and missiles to defend its territorial integrity and for regional stability. The prime contractor will be Lockheed-Martin, Dallas, Texas.
The Government of Switzerland has requested to buy up to seventy-two (72) PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles. Also included are telemetry kits; PAC-3 MSE missile round trainers; PAC-3 MSE empty round trainers; PAC-3 missile skid kits; launcher stations heater controls; classified missile repair and return; classified PAC-3 concurrent spare parts; unclassified PAC-3 concurrent spare parts; PAC-3 MSE canister consumables; quality assurance; Field Surveillance Program; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; flight test support; flight test targets; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary of its kind used by the U.S. Army and several allied states. It is manufactured by Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target” which is a backronym for PATRIOT. The Patriot system replaced the Nike Hercules system as the U.S. Army’s primary High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system and replaced the MIM-23 Hawk system as the U.S. Army’s medium tactical air defense system. Patriot has been given the function of the U.S. Army’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot’s primary mission. The system is expected to stay fielded until at least 2040.
Patriot was first introduced with a single missile type: the MIM-104A. This was the initial “Standard” missile (still known as “Standard” today). In Patriot’s early days, the system was used exclusively as an anti-aircraft weapon, with no capability against ballistic missiles. This was remedied during the late 1980s when Patriot received its first major system overhaul with the introduction of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) missile and concurrent system upgrades. The PAC-3 upgrade carried with it a new missile design, nominally known as MIM-104F and called PAC-3 by the Army. The PAC-3 missile evolved from the Strategic Defense Initiative’s ERINT missile, and so it is dedicated almost entirely to the anti-ballistic missile mission.