PAC-3 Succeeds in the Most Complex Scenario to Date

Released on Thursday, November 18, 2004
United States of America
MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3
Patriot PAC-3
MEADS - Medium Extended Air Defense System
PAAT - Patriot-As-A-Target
TBM - Theater Ballistic Missile
THAAD - Theater High Altitude Area Defense
Lockheed-Martin 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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