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

Feb. 2, 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., Thursday, Feb. 3, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.

     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/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.

     To date, the PAC-3 missile has successfully completed four missions. The first two missions were developmental tests that consisted of missiles with special instrumentation packages in place of the seeker. These two missions 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 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. 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. EST tomorrow. There will be a five minute window for the downlink. Satellite coordinates are the following: Satellite GE-5; transponder 9 upper; Ku band; downlink frequency 11959 vertical.