Lockheed Martin Supports First Successful Int'l PAC-3 Missile Test

Lockheed Martin and Airmen of the Japanese Self Defense Force successfully supported the first international PAC-3 Missile flight test Wednesday at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The test was an engagement against a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target, which was intercepted and destroyed by a PAC-3 Missile delivered to the Japan Self Defense Force.

The flight test was conducted by Patriot Japan Air Self Defense Force. The test demonstrated the Patriot Configuration-3 upgrades to Japanese Patriot ground system, and the addition of the PAC-3 Missile Segment to detect, track, engage and destroy a TBM target in a realistic battlefield environment.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control of Dallas, TX 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 (ELES).

These elements have been 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. Raytheon is the Patriot system integrator.

"The PAC-3 Missile provides combat proven hit-to-kill technology to protect the Warfighter with continued lethality overmatch against technologically advanced threats on today's battlefield," said Mike Trotsky, vice president - Air & Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We are particularly proud to celebrate the first FMS PAC-3 Missile test with our Japanese allies."

The PAC-3 Missile is the world's most advanced, capable and powerful theater air defense missile. It defeats the entire Patriot Air Defense System threat spectrum: tactical ballistic missiles, evolving cruise missiles and fixed and rotary winged aircraft. PAC-3 Missiles significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3s load out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four legacy Patriot PAC-2 missiles.

Lockheed Martin achieved the first-ever hit-to-kill intercept in 1984 with the Homing Overlay Experiment, using force of impact alone to destroy a mock warhead outside of the Earth's atmosphere.

Further development and testing produced today's PAC-3 Missile, which won a competition in 1993 to become the first hit-to-kill interceptor produced by the US government.

[Source: Aero News Network, Tokio, 20Sep08]

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