The US State Department has approved a possible sale of 50 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missiles Segment Enhanced (MSE) with support to Germany.

The $401m foreign military sale will also include PAC-3 MSE launcher conversion kits, missile round trainers (MRTs), empty round trainers (ERTs), launcher stations (LS) heater controllers, PAC-3 ground support equipment, and concurrent spare parts.

Germany also seeks to purchase PAC-3 MSE shorting plugs, missile canister consumables, missile skid kits, PAC-3 MSE repair and return, and missile field surveillance program (FSP) for PAC-3 MSE.

In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of a Nato ally, which is an important force for political and economic stability in Europe.

“It is vital to US national interests to assist our German ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

The agency stated that the procurement of the missiles will enhance Germany’s air defence capability, while also increasing its lethality against air defence threats. Furthermore, the European nation will be able to meet its Nato commitments.

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By GlobalData

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for this sale.

The PAC-3 MSE, which is based on PAC-3 and an increased range, is the primary interceptor for the multi-national medium extended air defence system (MEADS).

It achieved initial operational capability in August 2016.

In December last year, Lockheed Martin received a $1.8bn contract to supply PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors to the US and allied nations.

The company has been selected by 13 countries to deliver the missile systems.