Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 Missile Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile in Operational Test
DALLAS, TX, April 25th, 2002 -- A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., on Thursday. This was the third Operational Test of the PAC-3 system. The PAC-3 Missile destroyed a Patriot-As-A-Target missile.
Soldiers from the Second Battalion of the 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Ft. Bliss, Texas, conducted launch operations for the test. The test simulated the defense of a designated asset against a simultaneous raid of TBMs.
A second PAC-3 Missile, slated to defend against an incoming Storm TBM, did not launch. An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of that anomaly.
"We're pleased that the PAC-3 Missile succeeded in its mission, though there are some system issues requiring further refinement," said Steve Graham, PAC-3 Missile program director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Today's test is an example of why aggressive flight tests are necessary to perfect all aspects of the system so the fielded product can be used with confidence. We are absolutely certain that the PAC-3 Missile will provide a new level of protection against incoming TBMs, cruise missiles and aircraft. We will continue to assist our Army customer in identifying and rectifying any road blocks to that mission."
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, is the prime contractor responsible for the PAC-3 Missile segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system, which consists of the PAC-3 Missile, the missile canisters, the Fire Solution Computer and the Enhanced Launcher Electronics System.
The PAC-3 System is managed by the U.S. Army's Lower Tier Project Office, and is sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency. The PAC-3 Missile entered the Low-Rate Initial Production phase in late 1999, and the first production PAC-3 Missiles were delivered to the Army in September 2001. A Full-Rate Production decision is expected for PAC-3 later this year. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control officially opened the new PAC-3 Missile All-Up Round production facility in Camden, Ark., on March 8, 2002.
The PAC-3 Missile is a high velocity, hit-to-kill missile and is the next generation Patriot missile being developed to provide increased capability against advanced theater ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hostile aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile defeats incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact. The PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot battery, will significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3 Missiles load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the PAC-2 Patriot missiles.
The PAC-3 Missile has been selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Managed by the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA), MEADS is a model transatlantic development program focused on the next generation of air and missile defense. MEADS will focus on risk reduction, application of key technologies and validation of a system design incorporating the PAC-3 Missile.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.