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Director, Operational Test & Evaluation
FY97 Annual Report

FY97 Annual Report


DoD ACAT ID Program
54 Tactical Fire Units
Total program cost (TY$) $7426M
Average unit cost (TY$) $83.46M
Full-rate production 1QFY00

Prime Contractor
Lockheed-Martin Vought Systems


The PATRIOT is an air-defense, guided-missile system originally designed to counter the air-breathing threat of the 1990s and beyond. Two modifications, PAC-1 and PAC-2, were added to provide a limited capability for defense against Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM). The key features of the PATRIOT system are a multifunctional phased-array radar, track-via-missile guidance, and extensive modern software and automated operations with the capability for human override.

The PAC-3 growth program is being implemented through a series of three stand-alone fielding configurations. Each configuration consists of a grouping of materiel-change packages and a software upgrade called a postdeployment build (PDB), which includes a collection of software product upgrades. These improvements will (1) be active measures to achieve information superiority, (2) permit PAC-3 to fully support the lower-tier theater air and missile defense mission, and (3) contribute to full dimensional protection for forces and facilities.

Configuration 1 consists of an expanded weapons control computer, optical disk drives, an embedded data recorder, and implementing software. These upgrades provide four times greater computer throughput and a more efficient data recording and retrieval capability. Configuration 1 also includes the hardware associated with Radar Enhancement Phase II, which incorporates a dedicated pulse-Doppler processor.

Configuration 2 includes the Communication Enhancements Phase I, which is a materiel-change package that provides improved external communications (to the PATRIOT battalion) and includes linkage into the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) architecture. Configuration 2 software improvements include a counter-antiradiation missile capability to minimize vulnerability to those missiles; Classification, Discrimination and Identification (CDI) Phase I to improve the Tactical Information Broadcast System interface; and a software implementation of Radar Enhancement Phase II.

Configuration 3 consists of three materiel-change packages, the PAC-3 missile, and three software improvements. The three materiel-change packages are (1) Radar Enhancements Phase III, which provide significant improvements in system performance; (2) CDI Phase III to provide a high-range resolution radar capability; and (3) a Remote Launch/Communication Enhancement Upgrade to provide the capability to deploy missiles launchers at remote launcher farms, and improve intrabattalion voice and data communications. The PAC-3 missile will provide hit-to-kill lethality against high-speed tactical ballistic missiles; maneuvering tactical missiles; low-radar cross-section, long-range targets in operational environments; cruise missiles; and other air-breathing aircraft. The three software improvements are (1) PATRIOT and THAAD interoperability, which optimizes the war-fighting capability of PATRIOT and THAAD; (2) Joint TMD interoperability, which provides the capability to receive and transmit tactical ballistic missile-related data in a joint-Services environment; and (3) Launch Point Determination to calculate tactical ballistic missile launch points.


Subsequent to Desert Storm, the PAC-3 ORD was developed to provide focus for several already-planned improvements, plus additional improvements to include a new missile capability. The ORD identifies additional performance requirements needed to counter advanced stealth technology, advanced electronic-countermeasure techniques by air-breathing targets, unmanned remotely piloted vehicles, anti-radiation missiles, tactical air-to-surface missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. The ORD requires that the PAC-3 system be rapidly deployable, robust in firepower, tactically mobile, survivable, low in force-structure demands, and able to interoperate with other TMD systems.

Each materiel-change package is tested individually and then tested again as part of a fielding configuration during integrated system testing. Testing prior to FY97 included Configuration 2 FOT&E (FOT&E-2), successfully conducted at White Sands Missile Range, NM, and Fort Bliss, TX, during May and June 1996. FOT&E-2 consisted of tests using the hardware-in-the-loop Flight Mission Simulator (FMS), battalion-level field exercises, and a multiple simultaneous-engagement missile-firing exercise. This test evaluated the Configuration 2 (and Configuration 1) materiel-change packages and software improvements. An OA based on FOT&E-2 was completed.


There was no dedicated Operational Testing conducted in FY97. Developmental Testing in FY97 of PAC-3 upgrades focused on system integration of CDI-III, RLCEU, and PDB-5 software. In addition, flight testing of the PAC-3 missile was initiated, with the successful launch of DT-1 in September 97. DT-1 was a controlled, non-intercept flight of the missile only, without the seeker. The purpose of that flight was to assess missile flyout functions and collect aerodynamic data. The first intercept flight is scheduled for the second quarter of FY98.

The Live Fire Test and Evaluation program is proceeding as planned in the TEMP. Eleven full-scale sled tests against simulated unitary and submunition chemical, high-explosive submunition, nuclear, and biological submuntion targets have been completed through September 97. Developmental testing of scale model interceptors for the subscale light-gas gun test program was conducted during FY97. This development effort will support LFT&E testing in FY98. The light-gas gun will produce test data at higher velocities (3 km/sec) than sled track (1.7 km/sec). The developmental testing is addressing control of interceptor pitch angle and the lethality equivalence of the subscale interceptor to the full-scale test interceptor. Subscale, full-body interceptor sled track testing will also be conducted in FY98.


Testing to-date complies with the updated TEMP that was approved by OSD on November 1, 1996. Technical tests conducted in FY97 served to minimize risk by finding and fixing problems prior to actual procurement of the Configuration 3 upgrades. To-date, results of developmental tests of the CDI-III, RLCEU, and PDB-5 software indicate that PAC-3 is progressing, although PDB-5 software is slightly behind schedule, to meet its system-level performance and suitability requirements when this hardware and software is introduced.

Only two significant issues arose during flight readiness reviews: (1) higher-than-expected internal insulation erosion in the solid rocket motor case during static test firings and (2) guidance processor unit software revisions requiring HWIL tests to be rerun prior to first flight. Both issues were resolved; however, the date for first flight did slip several months.

All MCP hardware, implementing software, and the PAC-3 missile will undergo verification during the integrated system IOT&E. Extensive use of modeling and simulation supports both the DT and OT evaluations. Both DT and OT objectives are combined where possible to minimize testing.

The LFT&E sled testing is providing essential lethality data to support the overall system effectiveness evaluation. Two of these tests have anomalies that are being analyzed to determine whether the data satisfies LFT&E requirements. Two unsuccessful attempts at simulated biological submunition targets were scored as "no-test", because of sled train failures that resulted in a total miss and an improper target intercept. Retests will be conducted. Following these tests, the Holloman Sled Test Track will be realigned to eliminate problems identified during this test program. The one remaining full-scale sled test, which is against a HERA target, is scheduled for FY98. Although the Damage Assessment Reports have not been received, the sled test results appear to be consistent with pretest predictions made using physics-based hydrocode models. The LFT&E program is being executed as planned. Test limitations do exist on achievable intercept velocities in ground testing and instrumentation to collect lethality data during flight tests.


Typically, little or no stressful testing is ever performed on flight mission hardware before a final test launch. This mode of operation is employed for fear of causing any damage to the mission hardware prior to flight. On the PAC-3 program, HWIL and preflight environmental acceptance testing is being performed on the actual flight test missile. During the cold-temperature phase of the test, a power supply in the aft section failed. Subsequent failure analysis of the malfunctioned item and additional power supplies indicate a generic cold-temperature problem. This item may not have resulted in a problem in the upcoming shot, which is an ambient-temperature firing. However, it could have surfaced during later firings of cold-conditioned missiles (DT-5 and 9). This is an excellent example of the risk-reduction value of testing the actual flight test missile (environmental, HWIL, etc.) prior to final test launch.

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