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Registered: August 2001
Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) is a high/medium advanced surface-to-air guided missile air defense system. PAC-3 is a major upgrade to the Patriot system. The PAC-3 Operational Requirements Document (ORD) represents the Army Air Defense need to buy back required battlespace lost against the current and evolving tactical missile and air breathing threat. PAC-3 is needed to ounter/defeat/destroy the 2008 threat and to extend Patriot's capabilities to accomplish new/revised missions. In tandem with the upgraded radar and ground control station, PAC-3 interceptors can protect an area about seven times greater than the original Patriot system.
The PAC-3 Program consists of two interrelated acquisition programs - The PAC-3 Growth Program and the PAC-3 Missile Program. The Growth program consists of integrated, complementary improvements that will be implemented by a series of phased, incrementally fielded material changes. The PAC-3 Missile program is a key component of the overall improvements of the Patriot system, it will provide essential increases in battlespace, accuracy, and kill potential.
PAC-3 is a much more capable derivative of the PAC-2/GEM system in terms of both coverage and lethality. The PAC-3 has a new interceptor missile with a different kill mechanism--rather than having an exploding warhead, it is a hit-to-kill system. The PAC-3 missile is a smaller and highly efficient missile. The canister is approximately the same size as a PAC-2 canister but contains four missiles and tubes instead of a single round. Selected Patriot launching stations will be modified to accept PAC-3 canisters.
The Battalion Tactical Operations Center (BTOC) is an M900 series 5-ton expandable van that has been modified by the addition of data processing and display equipment, and utilized by the battalion staff to command and control the Patriot battalion. The BTOC allows the staff to perform automated tactical planning, communications link planning, and to display situational awareness information.
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 will consist of 16 missiles and five radars which will 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.
The Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE) began in 2002. The two major objectives of the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE) are: (1) To assess the improvements in system performance provided by modifications in terms of operational effectiveness, suitability, and survivability; (2) to verify that modifications do not degrade the existing capabilities. The Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE) will be the first operational integration and assessment of the complete Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Configuration 3 system.
The 2nd Battalion 43rd Air Defense Artillery/108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade serves as the test unit for the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE). The unit is equipped with the complete package of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Configuration 3 hardware, PDB-5+ software and the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missile. The Patriot Project Office has issued the upgraded equipment to 2-43 Air Defense Artillery. 2-43 has completed New Equipment Training (NET) and supports testing necessary to obtain material release of the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile equipment.
The Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE) is conducted in four phases: (1) The Sustained Operations Phase is a five-day deployment to McGregor Range using approved tactics and doctrine. 2-43 Air Defense Artillery will defend against live aircraft in accordance with threat test support package in a simulated combat environment; (2) The Interoperability Phase is a six-day demonstration of the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) interoperability with current Army and Joint Theater Missile Defense Systems. This phase is conducted using the Joint Common Simulated Missile Defense System Exerciser or actual tactical equipment; (3) The Flight Mission Simulator (FMS) Phase is a 22-day test of simulated air battles. The mobile Flight Mission Simulator (FMS) is a Patriot missile system simulation used to stimulate and evaluate radar performance, engagement decision and weapon assignment (EDWA) processing and test the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3)&#8217;s capabilities against a full spectrum of threat targets; (4) The Missile Flight Test Phase consists of four live missile tests conducted at White Sands Missile Range and Kwajalein Missile Range.
The Air Defense Artillery Directorate of the Operational Test Command conducts the planning and execution of the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE). Once Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOTE) is complete, the Army Evaluation Center prepares the system evaluation report. This report provides input for the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missile Milestone III decision (full rate production) and the materiel release for the complete Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) system.
Four PAC-3 operational tests [some involving more than one interceptor launch] between February 2002 and May 2002 resulted in three launch failures, two misses and one hit that failed to destroy the incoming warhead. A malfunctioning radar and software problems led to the misses, and the launch failures resulted from electrical problems.
The Army received the first 16 PAC-3s -- a full launcher load -- in September 2001. The Army is authorized to produce the missiles at a rate of 72 a year, and Congress authorize an increase to 96 per year in fiscal 2003. The plan is to eventually produce 144 a year, leading to a total inventory of 1,159 interceptors. Unable to certify that the PAC-3 interceptor was ready for stepped-up production, in mid-2002 Pentagon put off the decision for at least a year, and planned on further testing once fixes are in place.
By early 2000 the cost of each PAC-3 missile had increased from $1.9 million to over $4 million, and the estimated total program cost had risen from $3.9 billion to $6.9 billion. After design and manufacturing modifications were initiated to control costs, the estimted cost per missile dropped to about $3 million, and as of mid-2002 program officials expected to reduce the unit cost to $2 million.
Initial reports of a successful intercept of a Patriot missile-as-target by a Pac-3 missile on 25 April 2002 have sinced proven to be incorrect. A US Army statement said that subsequent analysis showed that the Pac-3 impacted the target missile but failed to destroy the warhead, so the intercept was unsuccessful. A second Pac-3 in the same test failed to launch. A PAC-3 missile successfully intercepted a target ballistic missile over Kwajalein Atoll on 30 May 2002. A second missile, however, failed to launch for unknown reasons. A failure to launch also occurred in the last test on 25 April. The target was a modified Minuteman missile with a separating reentry vehicle. This was the last test in the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) program, prior to a Pentagon assessment of PAC-3&#8217;s readiness for full-rate production.
As of late October 2002 the Army had taken delivery of 38 PAC-3 missiles, with another 15 due for delivery by December. The military is under contract to receive an additional 126 missiles over the 2003-2004 period. Congress increased the fiscal year 2003 budget request for PAC-3 of 72 missiles by an additional 48 missiles. In late November 2002, DOD approved plans to double PAC-3 monthly production rates, with the number of missiles increasing from four to eight per month after more manufacturing equipment and a second shift of personnel were added. DOD will acquire 108 PAC-3 missiles in FY 2004.
The overall procurement objective of 1,159 PAC-3 missiles remains unchanged. The larger purchases in FY-03 and FY-04 may be offset by lower production in FY-08 and FY-09. Instead of buying 216 missiles in each of those years, DOD would receive 184 units annually.
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|Keywords: PAC-3 Radar|