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Taiwan to station Patriot PAC-3 MSE interceptors by 2025

New projectiles are most advanced version of Patriot missile

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Taiwan to complete installation of Patriot PAC-3 MSE missiles by end of 2026 (Facebook, Lockheed Martin photo) 

Taiwan to complete installation of Patriot PAC-3 MSE missiles by end of 2026 (Facebook, Lockheed Martin photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will host Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) systems from the United States in 2025 and 2026, reports said Wednesday (March 31).

Last June, Lockheed Martin successfully tested the MSE at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, tracking and intercepting a tactical ballistic missile target.

Taiwan and the U.S. agreed on a procurement deal for similar systems during talks in 2019, CNA reported. While the new missiles have a longer reach, they are also larger, allowing only 12 units per launch vehicle as opposed to 16 for the previous Patriot variant.

The delivery and stationing of the original Patriots were completed in 2017 with a budget of more than NT$179 billion (US$6.28 billion). While the Ministry of National Defense did not provide details about the PAC-3 MSE deal, previous reports have mentioned that 300 new projectiles are being added to the nation's existing arsenal of 350 older Patriot missiles.

Japan and South Korea have reportedly also ordered MSE systems. Seven other countries, mostly in the Middle East and Europe, have purchased them as well.

Over the past year, Chinese military aircraft have intruded into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on an almost daily basis. Senior U.S. military leaders have suggested a Chinese attack against Taiwan might occur within six years.