PAC-3 Missile Test Flight Successful
DALLAS, TX, March 15th, 1999 -- Lockheed Martin Vought Systems, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Army conducted a successful seeker characterization flight of a Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., today. Although it was not a primary objective of the test, the PAC-3 Missile intercepted and destroyed the incoming target tactical ballistic missile. Preliminary test data indicate all other test objectives were successfully achieved."This test was a great achievement for the PAC-3 Missile industry team, and our BMDO and Army partners," said Mike Trotsky, vice president - air defense programs for Lockheed Martin Vought Systems. "We have been developing and successfully demonstrating hit-to-kill technology at Vought Systems for more than 30 years, and this PAC-3 Missile intercept demonstrates once again that hit-to-kill technology is viable. We have overcome significant challenges preparing for the flight test program, and I couldn't be more pleased with the PAC-3 Missile team. We are all looking forward to fielding the PAC-3 system with our soldiers in the very near future."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 missile, cruise missile and hostile aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile kills incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact. The PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot battery, will effectively double the Patriot system's firepower, since sixteen PAC-3 Missiles load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four Patriot missiles.The PAC-3 Missile flight testing is being conducted in two stages: developmental test (DT) missions and operational test (OT) missions. The first two DT missions were successfully conducted special instrumentation packages in place of the full-up PAC-3 Missile seeker. The missions were structured to verify critical system and missile performance prior to conducting target intercept flight tests. The remaining missions will consist of 16 PAC-3 Missiles against different classes of targets.Lockheed Martin Vought Systems, Dallas, Texas, is the prime contractor responsible for the PAC-3 Missile segment upgrade, which consists of the PAC-3 Missile, missile canisters (in four-packs), the fire solution computer and the enhanced launcher electronics system (ELES).Lockheed Martin Vought Systems manufactures missile, rocket and space systems, and is a business unit of the Lockheed Martin Electronics Sector, a global leader in the design, development and production of advanced electronics for defense, civil and commercial applications.