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US approves Swiss Patriot PAC-3 missile buy

Swiss Patriot
Raytheon graphic of the Swiss Patriot system which will be mounted on an Iveco chassis for homologation purposes

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of PAC-3 missiles for the Patriot air defense system to Switzerland.

The Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles and related equipment would come with an estimated price tag of $700 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.

Switzerland requested to buy the missiles after picking Patriot as a successor for the Bodluv ground-based air defense (GBAD) systems currently in service in June 2021. The Patriot decision was made alongside the decision to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin.

The Patriot GBAD is built by Raytheon, but the missile interceptors requested by Switzerland would be delivered by Lockheed Martin.

The country requested to buy up to 72 PAC 3 MSE missiles, telemetry kits, missile round trainers, as well as logistics technical assistance, flight test support, and flight test targets.

“The proposed sale of the PAC-3 MSE missiles will enhance the capability of Switzerland’s Patriot missile defense system. Switzerland will use the Patriot system and missiles to defend its territorial integrity and for regional stability,” the DSCA said.

Switzerland is buying a total of five Patriot fire units, after determining that four would be enough to cover an area of 15,000 square kilometers. The fifth unit is being procured as a logistical reserve.

Switzerland will also be buying the Patriot Guidance-Enhanced Missile, Tactical (GEM-T) from Raytheon.