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LockMart's PAC-3 Missiles Intercept Two Targets During Flight Test

File image of Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile.
Dallas TX (SPX) Nov 19, 2004
Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile successfully intercepted two missile targets today during Developmental Test/Operational Test-12 (DT/OT- 12), the most complex flight test scenario to date for PAC-3.

During the initial phase of the test, conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM, six missiles were in the air simultaneously.

In DT/OT-12, a total of four PAC-3 Missiles were ripple-fired against two separate targets: a Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT) modified to represent a short- range Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) and a medium velocity Storm Maneuvering Tactical Target Vehicle supplied by Orbital Science.

The mission sequence was a two missile ripple-fire against the modified PAAT, closely followed by a two missile ripple-fire against the Storm target. Once the targets were intercepted and destroyed, the two remaining PAC-3s executed a preplanned self-destruct sequence.

Test objectives included demonstrating the system's capability to detect, track, engage and intercept two simultaneously arriving, threat representative TBM targets, and to validate the performance of several components of the PAC- 3 Missile that were part of on-going cost reduction initiatives. Preliminary data indicates that all test objectives were achieved.

Also taking part in today's test was the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) radar. The THAAD radar tracked the two target missiles.

Although not part of the test objectives, the THAAD radar was able to participate and reduce risk as the THAAD system leads up to its own flight testing next year.

"With today's test, we have wrapped up the near-term PAC-3 flight test program to successfully demonstrate the cut-in of cost reduction hardware," said Colonel John Vaughn, U.S. Army Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense project manager.

"We continue to demonstrate the capabilities of the PAC-3 Missile in increasingly taxing scenarios, and it consistently proves to be the most reliable, advanced air defense missile deployed today," said Steve Graham, Lockheed Martin's vice president - PAC-3 Missile program.

"Our goal is to prove that the system is mature and capable of defending soldiers in the field from numerous threats. We are very proud of the PAC-3s performance."

Lockheed Martin is the only provider of proven hit-to-kill missile defense systems capable of defeating weapons of mass destruction, including missiles carrying biological, chemical and nuclear payloads.

The PAC-3 Missile, THAAD and the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), which utilizes the PAC-3, are elements of the terminal defense layer of the National Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system.

The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the PAC-3 Missile, a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a Fire Solution Computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System.

The PAC-3 Missile has been selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national MEADS program. Managed by the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA), MEADS is a model transatlantic development program focused on the next generation of air and missile defense.

MEADS will focus on risk reduction, application of key technologies and validation of a system design incorporating the PAC-3 Missile as the prime interceptor.

Storm Maneuvering Tactical Target Vehicle

The Storm Maneuvering Tactical Target Vehicle (MTTV) rocket, which performed its mission as planned, was used as a target to test the Patriot missile defense system.

"It has been an extraordinarily busy and successful two-week period for our launch teams, culminating with the successful MTTV launch for the Missile Defense Agency," said Mr. Ron Grabe, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Company's Launch Systems Group.

"We are very proud of our record of supporting MDA's flight test programs with the most reliable target vehicles in the industry. We look forward to our future missions that will help MDA develop, test and deploy effective missile defense systems."

Orbital provided and tested the rocket's guidance and separation systems, performed all vehicle design, production and integration activities and conducted all launch day mission operations.

The MTTV rocket is a single stage vehicle which uses a retired U.S. government rocket engine from the Minuteman ICBM program and a modified Pershing II reentry vehicle.

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US Exercises Missile Defense System To Prepare For Operations
Washington (AFP) Nov 17, 2004
The US missile defense system is still on track to go on alert by the end of this year and key US military commands are conducting "shakedown exercises" in preparation, a defense spokesman said Wednesday.

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