US Army conducts flight test of PAC-3 hit-to-kill interceptor


Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles have successfully intercepted incoming targets during a US Army flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

During the test, two Patriot systems tracked and destroyed two tactical ballistic missile (TBM) targets.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control PAC-3 programmes vice-president Scott Arnold said: "The PAC-3 Missile continues to be successful against today's evolving threats, and it remains the only combat proven hit-to-kill interceptor in the world.

"Today's global security environment demands reliable solutions. We expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as an integral layer of defence in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure."

The hit-to-kill interceptor destroys threats through kinetic energy in body-to-body contact.

It can engage a wide range of incoming threats, such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

"We expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as an integral layer of defence in the protection of soldiers, citizens and infrastructure."

In August, PAC-3 missile segment enhancement interceptor achieved initial operational capability (IOC) designation from the US Army.

The PAC-3 missile uses a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors (ACMs) and inertial guidance to navigate, Lockheed said in a statement.

It currently offers defence capabilities to the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

Four additional nations, including Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, have contracted Lockheed Martin for the interceptor.


Image: The PAC-3 Missile uses hit-to-kill technology to defend against incoming threats. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.