Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 Missile Intercepts Advanced Cruise Missile Target
DALLAS, TX, 19-OCT-01 --
The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile program completed Developmental Testing today by intercepting and destroying an advanced cruise missile target at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The target BQM-74 cruise missile was flying at a very low altitude in a cluttered background. Patriot soldiers from the Second Battalion of the 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Ft. Bliss, Texas, participated in the launch operations once again.
The PAC-3 program now moves into the Operational Testing phase. The PAC-3 Missile is in low-rate production.
The PAC-3 Missile has been tremendously successful during Developmental Testing, said Jim Berry, president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. We have proven conclusively through these tests that the PAC-3 Missile is fully capable of defeating the entire threat to the Patriot air defense system: tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile provides a new level of protection against these challenging targets.
The Army continues to be quite pleased with the performance of the PAC-3 Missile and the upgraded Patriot ground equipment, said Col. Tom Newberry, Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense project manager. Today's PAC-3 flight test success further demonstrates the effectiveness of this important theater air defense system, and underscores the confidence we have in its ability to defeat today's sophisticated threats.
The PAC-3 Missile is ready to protect; ready to defend, said Ed Squires, senior vice president - Air & Missile Defense for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The employees of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, its suppliers and subcontractors feel a great deal of pride in supporting the soldiers for today's successful flight test.
The PAC-3 Missile team, along with our suppliers and subcontractors, are to be praised for their commitment to the success of this interceptor, as well as their efforts to help reduce the per-unit cost of the missile for our customer, said Berry. For the projected U.S. Army production run on PAC-3, we've been able to achieve cost-savings that place the average unit price of the missile just above $2 million each. And when we add expected foreign PAC-3 Missile production, we're talking about a missile that will be well below the $2 million mark.
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.
PAC-3 is one of the world's most sophisticated technologies. The PAC-3 Missile boasts 12 successes out of 13 missile flights over the past three years, with nine intercepts in 10 attempts, an overall 92 percent success rate for the flight test program. The PAC-3 Missile intercept successes:
- March 15, 1999 - Successful intercept of TBM
- September 16, 1999 - Successful intercept of TBM
- February 5, 2000 - Successful intercept of TBM
- July 22, 2000 - Successful intercept of low-flying cruise missile
- July 28, 2000 - Successful intercept of low-flying cruise missile
- October 14, 2000 - Successful intercept of TBM
- March 31, 2001 - First Tactical Ripple Mode test - successful intercept of TBM by first PAC-3 Missile; successful tactical self-destruct of second PAC-3 Missile
- July 9, 2001 - Successful intercept of an F-4 remotely piloted aircraft by PAC-3 Missile
- October 19, 2001 - Successful intercept of advanced cruise missile
In addition to the 12 successful PAC-3 Missile flight tests, the PAC-3's predecessor missile, the Extended-Range Interceptor, demonstrated three hits in a row during the demonstration/validation program in 1994. Two of those tests involved TBM targets and one involved an air-breathing target (simulating a cruise missile or aircraft).
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 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 old Patriot missiles.
Employing more than 8,500 people, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with additional base operations in Orlando, Fla., and manufacturing and assembly facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif., Chelmsford, Mass., Camden, Ark., Horizon City and Lufkin, Texas, Ocala, Fla., White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and Troy, Ala. The company is a business unit of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Bethesda, Md.