U.S. Army Program Executive Office Air and Missile Defense
Huntsville, Ala.
(256) 842-0561

Feb. 5, 2000


PAC-3 Intercept Test a Success

     The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Army conducted a test of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., today at 7:09 a.m. mountain standard time. Preliminary test data indicate the test was successful.

     Test objectives included demonstrating system/missile capability to engage a full-body tactical ballistic missile using remote operations which include employing the launching station several kilometers from the radar and engagement control stations; and demonstrating intercept using the tactical software which allows the seeker to select the optimal aimpoint on the target.

     The PAC-3 missile is a high velocity, hit-to-kill missile and is the next generation PATRIOT missile being developed to provide increased defense capability against advanced tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and hostile aircraft. The PAC-3 missile uses kinetic energy to destroy targets rather than employing a high explosive warhead.

     The PAC-3 missile successfully completed four missions prior to today's flight test. The first two PAC-3 developmental test (DT) missions consisted of missiles with special instrumentation packages in place of the seeker and the missions were structured to verify critical systems and missile performance prior to conducting target intercept flight tests. A seeker characterization flight (SCF) mission was conducted March 15, 1999, to test a PAC-3 missile with a seeker. Although not a primary objective of the SCF, an intercept of the target was achieved. On September 16, 1999, a second intercept test was successful. The remaining PAC-3 missions will consist of 14 PAC-3 missiles intercepting various classes of targets.

     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 responsible for missile development. 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.

     Satellite video footage will be available for downlink at 3 p.m. eastern standard time today. There will be a five minute window for the downlink. Satellite coordinates are the following: Satellite Telstar 4; transponder 9 upper; downlink frequency 11986 vertical; ku band.