Patriot PAC-3 Developmental Testing
In the 1997 budget DOD added about $230 million for the PAC-3 through the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) and established a realistic schedule to lower the program execution risk by extending the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the program by ten months. System performance will be improved by re-phasing the missile and radar procurements; upgrading three launchers per battery with Enhanced Launcher Electronics Systems; and extending the battery's remote launch capability. PAC-3 Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) will begin in the second quarter of fiscal year 1998, and the First Unit Equipped (FUE) date is planned for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1999. The FUE capability was to consist of 16 missiles and five radars which would be placed in one battalion. As of 1996, in addition to funds being programmed for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the Army planned to spend $9.6 billion for all planned purchases of Patriot missiles, $490 million for modifications and $335 million for product improvements.
- DT-1, the first PAC-3 developmental test (DT) mission, did not involve targets but were structured to verify critical systems and missile performance prior to conducting target intercept flight tests.
- DT-2, the second PAC-3 developmental test (DT) mission, did not involve targets but were structured to verify critical systems and missile performance prior to conducting target intercept flight tests. This first pair of development test missions consisted of missiles with special instrumentation packages in place of the seeker. The missions were structured to verify critical systems and missile performance prior to conducting target intercept flight tests.
- A Seeker Characterization Flight (SCF) mission was conducted March 15, 1999, to test a PAC-3 missile with a seeker. Although not a primary objective of the SCF, an intercept of the tactical ballistic missile target was achieved. Between DT-2 and DT-3, the crew ran a seeker characterization flight to determine the performance of the seeker in a TBM scenario. The purpose was to collect data on the seeker's ability to detect, track and engage the target in a flight environment. The test resulted in a body-to-body intercept.
- On Sep. 16, 1999, a second intercept of a tactical ballistic missile target was achieved. DT-3 test objectives included a body-to-body intercept of a threat representative of a tactical ballistic missile target; a demonstrated capability of the ground system and missile to detect, track, and engage the target, and to collect data to evaluate missile homing functions.
- DT-5, conducted Feb. 5, 2000, was the third successful intercept of a tactical ballistic missile target. Common sense would predict the next test after the success of DT-3 would be DT-4 but there was a little shuffle in the mix and DT-5 was done first back in February. With each test, the mission became a little more complicated. By DT-5, the objective was to demonstrate ground system and missile capability to detect, track and engage a helical-maneuvering full-body TBM target in a remote launch Fire Unit configuration.
- DT-4 on February 5, 2000 was a successful intercept of a TBM target.
- DT-7, conducted July 22, 2000, was the first successful intercept of a cruise missile target. DT-7 raised the bar by including the ability to engage and destroy a low-altitude threat cruise missile target and the performance of a cold-conditioned launcher, canister and missile in a cruise missile engagement.
- On July 28, 2000 during a test not included in the developmental test program, a second cruise missile target was intercepted and destroyed.
- DT-6, conducted Oct. 14, 2000, was the first simultaneous engagement test and resulted in the fourth successful intercept of a tactical ballistic missile target by a PAC-3 missile and an engagement of a sub-scale aircraft by a PAC-2 missile. DT-6, proved that the system could simultaneously engage a maneuvering TBM with a PAC-3 missile and sub-scale ABT with a PAC-2 missile. It had to shoot two missiles at the same time, at two different targets.
- DT-8, conducted March 31, 2001, was the most complex flight test mission. The intercept by the PAC-3 Missile of a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target was the seventh consecutive successful intercept for PAC-3. It involved a simultaneous engagement utilizing two PAC-3 missiles against a tactical ballistic missile target, and a PAC-2 missile against a Patriot missile configured as a tactical ballistic missile target. There were five missiles (two targets and three interceptors) in the air at one time and both targets were destroyed. The PAC-3 Missile Developmental Test 8 (DT-8) was the first multiple simultaneous engagement of multiple TBM targets in the test program. Two PAC-3 Missiles engaged a Hera Modified Ballistic Re-entry Vehicle equipped with a simulated unitary warhead. A PAC-2 missile simultaneously engaged a Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT). The PAC-3 Missile engagement was the first "Tactical Ripple Mode" launch, where two PAC-3 Missiles were launched at a single TBM target. Both PAC-3 Missiles were fired from the same Patriot launcher, with several seconds separating the launches. The first PAC-3 Missile successfully engaged and killed the target. The second PAC-3 Missile then performed its tactical self-destruct sequence.
- Developmental Test/Operational Test-9 (DT/OT-9), conducted July 9, 2001, was the third simultaneous engagement and utilized one PAC-3 missile against a tactical ballistic missile target while a second PAC-3 missile was fired against a full-scale jet aircraft. The aircraft was intercepted and destroyed, but the missile intercept attempt was a miss. The anomaly experienced during the DT/OT-9 tactical ballistic missile engagement was identified and robust modifications were incorporated into the DT/OT-10 flight test software. Another t objective was to track and radar lock tactical ballistic missile (TBM) and aircraft targets in the presence of radar jamming. The success of this mission proved the PAC-3 Missile's ability to engage targets in an electronic countermeasure environment, a requirement of the PAC-3 Missile test program.
- The final developmental flight test, Developmental Test/Operational Test-10 (DT/OT-10), conducted Oct. 19, 2001, was a successful engagement and intercept of a very low altitude cruise missile with a PAC-3 missile, and a successful engagement and intercept of a small aircraft with a PAC-2 missile.
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