Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Missile successfully intercepted an incoming target on Thursday, Nov. 19, as part of a U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The “Hit-To-Kill” PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, capable and powerful terminal air defense missile. It defeats the entire threat: tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), cruise missiles and aircraft.
The PAC-3 Missile is a quantum leap ahead of any other air defense missile when it comes to the ability to protect the Warfighter in their defining moments. The test saw the PAC-3 interceptor successfully detect, track and intercept a Patriot-as-a-Target - a legacy Patriot missile modified to represent a tactical ballistic missile. The intercept is the second successful PAC-3 test in just under one week.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, a PAC-3 also intercepted an airborne target as part of the U.S. Army's Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) fight test at White Sands.
Scott Arnold, vice president, PAC-3 programs, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said:
“The PAC-3 Missile continues to demonstrate its reliability in the field, and it remains the only combat proven hit-to-kill interceptor in the world. As global threats escalate, we expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as a critical defense layer in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure.”
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, is the 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 (ELES). These elements are integrated into the Patriot system, a high to medium altitude, long-range air defense missile system providing air defense of ground combat forces and high-value assets.
Shortly before arrival at the intercept point, the PAC-3 Missile’s on board Ka band seeker acquires the target, selects the optimal aim point and terminal guidance is initiated. The ACMs, which are small, short duration solid propellant rocket motors located in the missile forebody, fire explosively to refine the missile’s course to assure body-to-body impact.
The PAC-3 MSE missile was selected by the U.S. as the primary interceptor for the multi-national MEADS. 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.
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