Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to supply Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) -3 missiles to the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
Under the initial contract, the company will manufacture missiles and an associated command launch system.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control PAC-3 programmes vice-president Scott Arnold said: "The PAC-3 missile will provide the Qatar Air Force with proven, reliable performance with unmatched hit-to-kill lethality.
"The capability PAC-3 provides continues to draw significant interest from a number of international customers."
In November 2012, Qatar requested the US for a foreign military sale of PAC-3 missiles, along with PAC-3 modernised fire units, AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, AN/MSQ-132 engagement control systems, M902 launching stations, a Patriot MIM-104E guidance enhanced missile-TBM, and other equipment.
Qatar has become the eighth international customer of the PAC-3 missile, an upgraded variant of the Patriot missile, and is designed to defeat a broad spectrum of incoming tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft by direct, body-to-body impact.
Claimed to be the Patriot air defence system’s most technologically advanced missile, the PAC-3 significantly increases the system’s firepower, as 16 missiles can be loaded in place of four legacy Patriot PAC-2 missiles on the Patriot launcher.
Jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed, the combat-proven Patriot missile is currently in service with 12 militaries worldwide, including the US, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.
Production work under the contract is expected to start immediately at the company’s manufacturing facilities in the US, while delivery schedule remains undisclosed.
Lockheed serves as prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment of the Patriot air defence system.
Image: 16 PAC-3 missiles can be loaded in place of four legacy PAC-2 missiles on the Patriot launcher. Photo: Courtesy of US Army / Lyta79.