Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 Missile Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile Target
DALLAS, TX, March 21st, 2002 --
The 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 second Operational Test of the PAC-3 system. Soldiers from the Second Battalion of the 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Ft. Bliss, Texas, conducted launch operations for the test. In addition to the PAC-3 intercept of the TBM, a PAC-2 missile was fired at an air-breathing target.
"The PAC-3 Missile is proven, fielded technology," said Mike Trotsky, vice president - Air Defense Programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "There are no other fielded interceptors that have PAC-3's power to negate ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction, as well as cruise missiles and other air threats. The PAC-3 Missile and its first-to-the-field hit-to-kill technology represent an extraordinary success story for our Army and Missile Defense Agency customers."
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, formerly the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
The PAC-3 Missile entered the Low-Rate Initial Production phase in late 1999. The first production PAC-3 Missiles were delivered to the Army in September 2001. 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.
PAC-3 is one of the world's most sophisticated technologies. The PAC-3 Missile flights:
- Two successful Control Test Flights (September 29 and December 15, 1997)
- 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; second PAC-3 Missile fails to intercept TBM due to communications bus anomaly
- October 19, 2001 - Successful intercept of advanced cruise missile
- February 16, 2002 - PAC-3 Missile received incorrect cue: intercept not possible
- March 21, 2002 - Successful intercept of TBM
In addition to these 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 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.
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.