DOT&E Director, Operational Test & Evaluation  
FY98 Annual Report
FY98 Annual Report


DoD ACAT ID Program: Prime Contractor
Total Number of Systems:54 Tactical Fire UnitsRaytheon
Total Program Cost (TY$):$7426MLockheed Martin Vought Systems
Average Unit Cost (TY$):$83.46MService Certified Y2K Compliant
Full-rate production:1QFY00No (Expected 1QFY99)


The PATRIOT is an air-defense; guided-missile system originally designed to counter the air-breathing threat of the 1990s and beyond. Two modifications, PATRIOT Advanced Capability 1 and 2, were added to provide a limited capability for defense against tactical ballistic missiles. The key features of the PATRIOT system are the multifunctional phased-array radar, track-via-missile guidance, and extensive modern software and automated operations, with the capability for human override.

The PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) growth program is being implemented through a series of three standalone fielding configurations. Configurations 1 and 2 have been fielded. Each configuration consists of a grouping of materiel-change packages and a software upgrade called a post-deployment build, which includes a collection of software product upgrades. These improvements contribute to Joint Vision 2010, and relying on information superiority and technological innovation, will specifically: (1) be active measures to achieve precision engagement; (2) permit PAC-3 to fully support the lower-tier theater air and missile defense mission; and (3) contribute to dominant maneuver of our forces and full-dimensional protection for both forces and facilities.

Configuration 1 consists of: (1) an expanded weapons control computer; (2) optical disk drives; (3) an embedded data recorder; and (4) implementing software. These upgrades provide four times greater computer throughput and a more efficient data recording and retrieval capability. Configuration 1 also includes the hardware associated with Radar Enhancement-Phase II, which incorporates a dedicated pulse-Doppler processor.

Configuration 2 includes the Communication Enhancements Phase I, which is a materiel-change package that provides improved external communications (to the PATRIOT battalion), and includes linkage into the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) architecture. Configuration 2 software improvements include: (1) a counter anti-radiation missile capability to minimize vulnerability to those missiles; (2) Classification, Discrimination and Identification-Phase I to improve the Tactical Information Broadcast System interface; and (3) a software implementation of Radar Enhancement Phase II.

Configuration 3 consists of: (1) three materiel-change packages; (2) the PAC-3 missile; and (3) three software improvements. The three materiel-change packages are (1) Radar Enhancements-Phase III, which provides significant improvements in system performance; (2) Classification, Discrimination and Identification-Phase III, which provides a high-range resolution radar capability; and (3) a Remote Launch/Communication Enhancement Upgrade to provide the capability to deploy missiles launchers at remote launcher farms, and improve intra-battalion voice and data communications. The PAC-3 missile will provide hit-to-kill lethality against high-speed tactical ballistic missiles; maneuvering tactical missiles; low-radar cross-section, long-range targets in operational environments; cruise missiles; and other air-breathing aircraft. The three software improvements are: (1) PATRIOT and THAAD interoperability, which optimize the warfighting capability of PATRIOT and THAAD; (2) Joint TMD interoperability, which provide the capability to receive and transmit tactical ballistic missile-related data in a joint-Services environment; and (3) Launch Point Determination to calculate tactical ballistic missile launch points.


Subsequent to Desert Storm, the PAC-3 Operational Requirements Document (ORD) was developed to provide focus for several already planned improvements, plus additional improvements to include a new missile capability. The ORD identifies additional performance requirements needed to counter advanced stealth technology, advanced electronic-countermeasure techniques by air-breathing targets, unmanned remotely piloted vehicles, anti-radiation missiles, tactical air-to-surface missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. The ORD requires that the PAC-3 system be rapidly deployable, robust in firepower, tactically mobile, survivable, low-in-force-structure demands, and able to interoperate with other TMD systems.

Each materiel change package is tested individually and then re-tested as part of a fielding configuration during integrated system testing. Testing prior to FY98 included Configuration -2 FOT&E (FOT&E-2), successfully conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM, and Ft. Bliss, TX, during May and June 1996. The FOT&E-2 consisted of tests using the hardware-in-the-loop Flight Mission Simulator, battalion-level field exercises, and a multiple simultaneous engagement missile-firing exercise. This test evaluated the Configuration 2 (and Configuration 1) materiel-change packages and software improvements. An Operational Assessment based on FOT&E-2 was completed in August 1996. In September 1997, a controlled non-intercept flight of the missile, DT-1, was also successfully conducted.

The PAC-3 program has an approved Y2K management plan in effect. System prime contractors are nearing the completion of certification for Y2K compliance using the DoD checklist. The fielded PATRIOT weapon system makes no significant use of date. Weapon system interfaces, except for the interface to the Global Positioning System (GPS) via the Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver, do not pass date information. Although it uses a two-digit date, the interface does not appear to have a problem. This interface compatibility issue will be examined further during the Y2K validation and system testing phases. In areas where commercial software are used, especially in the UNIX Operating System or processors (e.g., the classroom trainer), there are some problems with Y2K. Workarounds have been established to respond to these situations.


There was no dedicated OT conducted in FY98. The DT in FY98 of PAC-3 upgrades focused on system integration of Classification, Discrimination and Identification-Phase III (CDI-III), Remote Launch/Communication Enhancement Upgrade, and Post Deployment Build-5 software. The CDI-III Production Qualification Test was successfully completed in May 1998, resulting in a fielding decision of that upgrade. In addition, flight-testing of the PAC-3 missile continued with the successful launch of DT-2 in December 1997. The DT-2 was a controlled, non-intercept flight of the missile only without the seeker. The purpose of that flight was to assess missile fly-out functions and endurance, in addition to providing corrective actions for minor problems identified during DT-1. The first EMD intercept flight is currently scheduled for 2QFY99.

The LFT&E program has been proceeding as planned in the TEMP. Fourteen of sixteen full-scale sled tests against unitary and submunition chemical high-explosive submunition, nuclear and biological submuntion targets have been completed through September 1998. The two remaining tests, replication of the DT-4 flight test intercept and a crosswalk to the sub-scale sled tests, are planned for FY99. The sub-scale light-gas gun test program was initiated during FY98 to produce test data at higher velocities (3 km/sec) than sled track (1.7 km/sec). Development of a sub-scale, full-body interceptor is in process to support LFT&E sled testing in FY99. The purpose of sub-scale sled testing is to assess the contribution of the rocket motor to lethality. Ongoing funding issues have driven a closer scrutiny of the statistical contribution of this aspect to overall system lethality performance. The LFT&E program should be completed in FY99.


Testing to date complies with the updated TEMP that was approved by OSD on November 1, 1996. Technical tests conducted in FY98 served to minimize risk by finding and fixing problems prior to actual procurement of the Configuration 3 upgrades. Results of the developmental tests of Material Development and Post Deployment Build software indicate that PAC-3 is progressing satisfactorily. However, Post Deployment Build-5 software was slightly behind schedule in meeting its system-level performance and suitability requirements.

Continuing problems associated with seeker integration have led to a slip of the date for the first intercept flight to 2QFY99. This will delay the fielding date by more than one year beyond last year's Acquisition Baseline threshold for First Unit Equipped. Despite this, the program office should be commended for its event driven approach. They have maintained a strict progression of hardware-in-the-loop testing, at both the subsystem and system level, of the actual flight test hardware, prior to the flight test.

All Material Change Package hardware, implementing software and the PAC-3 missile will undergo performance verification during integrated system IOT&E. Extensive use of modeling and simulation supports both the DT and OT evaluations. Both DT and OT objectives are combined, where possible, to minimize testing. DOT&E is pressing for the use of simulation enhanced live missile firings, using the Flight Mission Simulator to test out many-on-one, threat to interceptor ratio scenarios.

Despite some problems achieving successful tests at both sled track and gas gun facilities, LFT&E sled and light gas gun testing is providing essential lethality data to support the overall system effectiveness evaluation. Two developmental sub-scale sled tests were unsuccessfully conducted in FY98 with catastrophic results to the sled mounted missile. The failures have been analyzed and modifications to the sled and interceptor are in progress. Although the Damage Assessment Reports have not been received, the sled test and light gas gun results appear to be consistent with pretest predictions using first principle physics-based hydrocode models. Achieving flight intercept velocities in ground sled testing and collecting high fidelity target damage data during flight test intercepts place limitations on PAC-3 LFT&E.


Several of the problems being uncovered during the pre-flight quality control and seeker integration testing are being attributed to reliability at the electrical piece-part level. In at least two of these cases, the problems were determined to be failures related to the use of Military Standard (Mil Std) parts and procedures. In one case, the part (a Mil Std specified capacitor) failed during testing. In the other case, an integrated circuit (also specified to the Mil Std level) was not retaining information in memory subsequent to low temperature testing. In subsequent testing and failure analysis, the problems were traced to the fact that the required Mil Std temperature was not maintained for a long enough time during the test. Mil Stds have been put in place to guarantee successful operation of mechanical and electrical parts in the severe military environment. In the case of missile defense, that environment is one of the most severe that military systems have to endure. Many times, the ability to endure the severity of the Mil Std level protects the components from narrow engineering design margins. While in some instances Mil Std parts may not be required, in other instances, parts that must operate in stressing environments may need to meet Mil Stds. Relaxation of those standards (or shifting to commercial standards), without thoughtful examination of the underlying need, may be a misapplication of the principles of acquisition reform. This may achieve small savings in parts procurement but at the expense of wasting a multi-million dollar missile or test. Departure from Mil Std use must be judiciously employed.

Return to Table of Contents