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Design Innovations | Lobbying | Lockheed Martin | Missiles - Air-Air | Missiles - Surface-Air | USA

Patriots for Eagles?

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F-15C launches AMRAAM(click to view full) Flight International reports that Lockheed is proposing a $137 million program to adapt its Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles for use on the USAF’s F-15C Eagle air superiority fighters. The missiles would reportedly be used to help the fighters kill ballistic missiles during the boost phase or mid-course phase, instead of hoping for a Patriot’s usual final phase intercept. Patriot PAC-3 missiles also have significantly longer range than the AIM-120 AMRAAM, creating the potential for wider coverage against cruise missiles and other aerial threats. In order to use an AIM-104 Patriot air-launched hit-to-kill (ALHTK) effectively, however, the F-15s would need to add IRST(Infra-Red Search & Track) capability to track enemy missiles outside the atmosphere. With Boeing’s Airborne Laser in limbo and Ground-based Midcourse Defense missiles headed for a freeze, Lockheed Martin hopes that the US Missile Defense Agency may look to cheaper air-launched solutions, in order to extend ABM coverage while enhancing other military capabilities. PAC-3, labeled(click to view full) There is some precedent for this kind of conversion. Iran is widely believed to have adapted some of its MIM-32 Hawk missiles for use on F-14 Tomcats, after supplies of more conventional American air-to-air missiles […]

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