The Gulf Wars were different than any wars fought before them because they were the first wars to pretty much get broadcast live into our living rooms. Some of the biggest news that came out of them was the Iraqi’s use of Scud missiles aimed at both the coalition troops and at Israel. We were so worried that Israel would attack Iraq in retaliation and unite the Arab world against us that we loaned them a few Patriot Missile batteries to shoot down any Scud Missiles that were launched at them; those batteries did their job well and shot down almost all of the missiles that were launched at Israel. Those missile downing’s were the first glimpse we had of the potential of missile to missile warfare.
Yes, the Scud missile is still found in several arsenals around the world but they are pretty much an afterthought with all that is out there as far as more modern missiles go these days. When Russia went to war against the Syrian opposition a few months ago they surprised everyone by using a cruise missile with a range that was 1000 miles further than what we thought any of their cruise missiles were capable of traveling. This only highlighted the need for improved missile to missile defense systems.
That technology continues to improve and the testing of these missile interceptors is being led by Lockheed Martin Corporation. They have been able to achieve a string of successes over the last few months with their PAC-3 missile system. In November of 2015, the PAC-3 missile system had two highly successful tests over the White Sands Missile range which is located in New Mexico. The missile system successfully tracked and destroyed a high speed patriot missile and also had a successful shoot down of another airborne asset too.
The PAC -3 is an interesting type of missile in the way that it works. It does not use a warhead to destroy missiles like more traditional anti-missile systems have used in the past; instead, it destroys its intended target by the sheer velocity that it hits the target at. A PAC-3 missile has been designed to not only eliminate incoming missiles this way but to also destroy drones and fighter aircraft too. That gives it a lot of flexibility in controlling the skies over a battlefield. It is even said to be capable of destroying ballistic missiles with WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) aboard them.
The missile is said to have a highly efficient tracking system that guides it to its target. Intercept points are first calculated by ground based systems but it is also capable of in-flight adjustments including those done by the missile itself as it approaches its target. A combination of solid rocket propellant, inertial guidance systems and other controls are what take it to the intercept point.
It will be interesting to see how this technology progresses over the coming years and how much information about it the government is willing to share with the public.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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