posted on May, 11 2004 @ 04:56 AM
The U. S. is becoming increasingly concerned about the proliferation of ballistic missiles or the technology necessary to build this capability by
nations of concern and terrorist organizations. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has been given the mission to design a system that will enable the U.
to protect the homeland, U. S. forces abroad and its allies.
To do this, MDA is developing a layered Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) that will combine
several programs into one system capable of destroying an enemy missile from shortly after launch to shortly before impact on the intended target. One
most mature elements of the BMDS is the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3).
Now operational with the U.S. Army, PAC-3 is a land-based element building on the previous PATRIOT air and missile defense infrastructure. The design
objective of the PATRIOT system is to provide a baseline system capable of being modified to cope with the evolving threat. This alternative minimizes
technological risks and provides a means of enhancing system capability through planned upgrades of deployed systems.
On April 7, 2003, the Under Secretary of Defense transferred the PAC-3 program from MDA to the Army for production and further development. MDA
remains responsible for the BMDS interoperability and integration efforts. As the best defense against tactical missiles, PAC-3 was deployed to
Southwest Asia as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the deployment, the PAC-3 engaged several missiles.
Analysis of the system’s performance by the Army continues.