Switzerland becomes the newest customer of the most advanced Patriot missile

WASHINGTON — Switzerland has signed a contract to buy the most advanced version of the Patriot missile made by Lockheed Martin as an addition to the country’s Air2030 program, the company announced Tuesday.

Lockheed did not specify the number of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement weapons Switzerland plans to buy. But the US State Department previously approved a number of Swiss requests for Patriot equipment.

The most recent approval, in 2022, gave the European nation the right to buy up to 72 PAC-3 MSE missiles for about $700 million. Before that, in 2020, Switzerland was cleared for a $2.2 billion package that included five fire units, radars, launchers and 70 improved PAC-2 tactical guided missiles.

The contract, signed on Oct. 30 as part of the Pentagon’s foreign military sales process, will oblige Switzerland to pay 300 million Swiss francs (US$331 million) for the newest type of interceptor, according to an Oct. 31 statement from the military service of Armasuisse country supplies. .

The country’s military wants to use the PAC-3 MSE missiles – which have a shorter range than the tactical variant but can fly tighter maneuvers – to intercept short-range missiles as well as defend against aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.

Switzerland’s Patriot core components are scheduled to be delivered by the RTX manufacturer from 2026, the procurement agency’s statement said. The PAC-3 missiles are expected from Lockheed, through the US government, in 2028 and 2029.

Switzerland is the 15th country to purchase the MSE version of the PAC-3 missile, according to Lockheed.

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The country’s Air2030 program also includes the procurement of 36 Lockheed F-35 fighter jets for 6 billion Swiss francs.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist who covers land warfare for Defense News. He has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

Sebastian Sprenger is deputy editor for Europe at Defense News, reporting on the state of the defense market in the region and US-European cooperation and multinational investment in defense and global security. He previously served as managing editor of Defense News. It is based in Cologne, Germany.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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