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MEADS successfully conducts first flight test of PAC-3 MSE

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The first PAC-3 MSE missile launch in February, 2010. Photo: Lockheed Martin

NEW MEXICO (BNS): For the first time PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) was successfully test fired from the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) lightweight launcher and employed the MEADS system battle manager.

The PAC-3 (MSE) was test fired from the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, on Thursday.

The test demonstrated an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of the MSE missile against a simulated target attacking from behind. It required a unique sideways maneuver, demonstrating a 360-degree capability. The missile executed a planned self-destruct sequence at the end of the mission after successfully engaging the simulated threat.

"Today, MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher," NATO MEADS Management Agency General Manager Gregory Kee said.

"MEADS provides more capability at a lower cost to protect our soldiers against a growing air and missile threats. The MEADS lightweight launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today and was designed to be easily adaptable to a variety of vehicles," he added.

Using its 360-degree defensive capability, the advanced MEADS radars and MSE missile, MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets and significantly reduces demand for deployed personnel and equipment, which reduces demand for airlift.

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