News Briefings

DoD News Briefing

Thursday, September 16, 1999 - 2:00 p.m.
Presenter: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA


Mr. Bacon:

Finally, before we get to the hurricane, there was the first successful flight intercept test of the Patriot 3 missile today at 9:26 a.m. our time. Destroyed a target over White Sands, New Mexico. It was an intercept test, obviously. And there is imagery available, you can download it from a satellite hookup and the details are at DDI for that.

Q: This is the first successful intercept test?

Mr. Bacon: Yeah, this is the first... It was the first intercept test. It succeeded. Therefore, it was the first successful intercept test. It actually is the fourth mission test, but it is the first successful intercept test of the PAC-3.

Q:...It wasn't intended to be an intercept and it did in fact hit another missile.

Mr. Bacon: That may be true, but if we hit a target we didn't intend... This is we intended to hit the target and we hit it. (Laughter)

Q: This was a collision between vehicles?

Mr. Bacon: Yeah, this is a hit-to-kill missile capability and it did kill the Hera target over the White Sands, New Mexico range. As I say, there's film on it that you can get later today.

You're right, on March 15th a seeker characterization flight test actually succeeded in intercepting the target, although that wasn't the goal. So we've had two successes out of one attempt. Pretty good, huh? (Laughter) I guess that means we have a batting average of 2,000.