has announced that Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) successfully
intercepted two missile targets during Developmental Test/ Operational Test #12
(DT/OT-12) conducted at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. During the test
up to six missiles were in the air at one time, which makes this the most
complex flight test scenario set to date for PAC-3 capability.
In the 12th test, a total of four PAC-3 missiles were ripple-fired against two
separate targets, a Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT) missile modified to represent a
short-range Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) and a medium velocity Storm
maneuvering tactical target vehicle representing an aerodynamic target such as
an aircraft or a cruise missile.
The Patriot air defense system mission objective was to detect, track, engage,
intercept and destroy two separate targets arriving near simultaneously. In
addition, the test included cost reduction initiative PAC-3 missiles with
recently upgraded components. The test was conduct using a distributed
battalion tactical configuration with three Patriot fire units, which were
operated by troops from Fort Bliss, Texas.
The mission sequence was a two missile ripple-fire against the modified PAAT,
followed by a two missile ripple-fire against the Storm target. Once the target
were intercepted and destroyed by the first missile from each salvo the second
PAC-3 missile executed a preplanned self-destruct sequence. Preliminary data
indicates that all test objectives were achieved successfully.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) radar took part in the DT/OT-12
tracking the two target missiles. THAAD radar and the whole THAAD system are
expected to perform flight testing in 2005. PAC-3 missile has been selected to
MEADS next generation air and missile defense system.
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