July 21, 2000



The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Army plan to conduct an intercept test flight of a Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Saturday, July 22, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. This test had previously been scheduled for Wednesday, July 19, but was postponed because of a failure of the Simulated Launch Adapter (SLA), a non-tactical piece of test equipment used as a safety device in pre-flight readiness checks. The delay had no effect on missile or target readiness. This will be the sixth flight test of the PAC-3 system.

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 tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hostile aircraft.

Test objectives include demonstrating system capability to engage and destroy a low altitude threat representative cruise missile target, represented by an MQM-107 "Streaker" drone.

To date, the PAC-3 missile has successfully completed five missions. The first two missions did not involve targets but were structured to verify critical systems and missile performance prior to beginning target intercept flight tests. A seeker characterization flight (SCF) mission was flown March 15, 1999, to test a PAC-3 missile with a seeker. Although not a primary objective of the SCF, a successful intercept of the Hera target was achieved. A second successful intercept test against a Hera target was conducted September 16, 1999. The most recent developmental test, DT-5, resulted in a successful intercept of a Hera target Feb. 5, 2000.

The Patriot program is managed by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization in Washington, DC, and executed by the Army Program Executive Office for Air and Missile Defense and the Army Patriot Project Office in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas is the prime contractor for the PAC-3 missile segment. The seeker is produced by Boeing in Huntsville, Ala. Raytheon Systems Company, the Patriot system prime contractor, is the system integrator for the PAC-3 missile segment. The target used in today’s test is managed by the Army’s Targets Management Office (TMO), located at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. The TMO is an element of the Project Manager for Instrumentation, Targets and Threat Simulators, co-located with the U.S. Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command, Orlando, Fla.

Satellite footage of the test will be available Saturday, July 22, during a five-minute window between 4:00 and 4:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Coordinates are:

Telstar 4; transponder 12 upper; uplink frequency 14359 vertical; downlink frequency 12059 horizontal; audio 6.22-6.8