Bahrain receives first PAC-3 MSE shipment from Lockheed Martin

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MEADS launch 3

A Medium Extended Air Defense System missile is launched to intercept a target during a MEADS test with the PAC-3 MSE Missile. (John Hamilton / White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs )

DIMDEX 2024 — The Kingdom of Bahrain has taken delivery of its first shipment Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors from Lockheed Martin, the American firm said Tuesday.

The delivery comes one month after the Manama reportedly inaugurated a Patriot air defense base at Ras-al Bar Camp.

“PAC-3 MSE’s advanced capabilities will improve Bahrain’s air and missile defense capabilities and support security in the region. This is the first of several shipments to deliver PAC-3 MSEs to the country,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

Back in May 2019 the US State Department approved the sale of 60 PAC-3 MSE and 36 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles with canisters to Bahrain in a deal worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

In a statement, Brenda Davidson the vice president of PAC-3 programs, said the PAC-3 MSE “is a combat-proven Hit-to-Kill interceptor that can defend against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, advanced threats, and aircraft.”

She added that the missile system will help Bahrain in “deterring evolving regional threats and defend its national integrity.”

The Gulf has seen a rise recently in airborne threats, including Houthi drones and missiles that have targeted sites in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea. Bahrain, which plays host to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, has made air defense a priority.

While inaugurating the base last month, commander of the Royal Bahraini Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said that “the rapid developments and challenges in the Middle East have resulted in developing a plan to enhance defense capabilities to counter any possible threats against the kingdom,” according to national Bahrain News Agency.

Neighboring countries, including the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, also operate Patriot missiles.

So far, 15 nations have ordered PAC-3 air and missile defense, according to Lockheed Martin.