Lockheed Martin PAC-3 CRI intercepts tactical ballistic missiles

11 November 2019 (Last Updated July 21st, 2020 15:05)

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated the capabilities of its PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptors during a US Army-led missile defence flight test.

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated the capabilities of its PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptors during a US Army-led missile defence flight test.

The test was conducted at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

During the test, the PAC-3 anti-ballistic missile systems intercepted two tactical ballistic missile targets.

According to Lockheed Martin, the demonstration marked the 12th and 13th PAC-3 CRI intercepts in support of the service branch’s Field Surveillance Program (FSP) over the past seven years.

FSP is intended to ensure the readiness and reliability of fielded PAC-3 missiles.

Lockheed Martin stated that the flight test showcased ‘the unique hit-to-kill capability of the PAC-3 family of missiles, which defends against threats through body-to-body contact’.

Performed in the presence of US Army officials and representatives from foreign military sales customers, the test reconfirmed the ability of the PAC-3 interceptor to detect, track and intercept incoming enemy missiles.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control PAC-3 programmes vice-president Jay Pitman said: “PAC-3 continues its long history of reliability and readiness in the field and 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 essential element in integrated, layered defence systems.”

The PAC-3 CRI variant of the Patriot air and missile defence system provides defence against tactical ballistic missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles.

Countries that have acquired the PAC-3 systems include the US, Sweden, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, Poland, Qatar, Bahrain, Taiwan, and the UAE.