In the early morning test, two PAC-3 Missiles were "ripple-fired" at an incoming TBM that was simulating the flight characteristics of a Scud-type missile. The target for the mission was a Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT), a Patriot legacy missile modified to represent a short-range TBM.
"Today's test provided even more evidence that the PAC-3 Missile can protect our forces from ballistic missile attack," said Steve Graham, vice president - PAC-3 Missile program for Lockheed Martin. "We now have four successful "ripple-fire" flights of PAC-3 Missiles against TBMs, both in flight testing and in combat, and the success rate of the PAC-3 Missile is second-to-none when it comes to air defense missiles."
Other test objectives of the mission included demonstrating the PAC-3 Missile Segment software and ground system improvements, demonstrating system capability to intercept and kill a short-range, full-body TBM target, and demonstrating and validating successful operation of the PAC-3 Missile seeker with a domestic source Traveling Wave Tube, the Ka-band radar seeker's high power amplifier. Preliminary data indicate that all objectives were achieved.
"In those defining moments on the battlefield, the PAC-3s saved lives and protected our forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and we are pleased to be a partner with our Army customer on this absolutely critical technology," Graham added. "We are eager to see PAC-3 Missiles in the inventories of our allies as well, and should see the first international sales of PAC-3 within the next few months."
The 'hit-to-kill' PAC-3 Missile is the world's most advanced, capable and powerful theater air defense missile. It defeats the entire threat to the Patriot Air Defense System: tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) carrying weapons of mass destruction, advanced cruise missiles and aircraft. PAC-3 Missiles significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC- 3s load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the older Patriot PAC-2 missiles.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the PAC-3 Missile, a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a Fire Solution Computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System. These elements are being integrated into the Patriot system, a high to medium altitude, long- range air defense missile system providing air defense of ground combat forces and high-value assets.
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 as the prime interceptor.
In February 2004, Lockheed Martin received contracts totaling $505 million for PAC-3 Missile production and to replace the Patriot missiles expended during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, in July 2003, Lockheed Martin received a $260 million contract for a Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) to the PAC-3 Missile. The PAC-3 MSE provides performance enhancements to the missile that will counter evolving threat advancements.
The Patriot PAC-3 program is managed by the U.S. Army and executed by the Army Program Executive Office, Air, Space and Missile Defense and the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Project Office in Huntsville, AL.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
CONTACT: Craig Vanbebber of Lockheed Martin, +1-972-603-1615, or
Web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/