July 6, 2005 The PAC-3 Missile has received one of the US National Defense Industrial Association's (NDIA) Gold Medal Award for industrial development and manufacturing, one of the Association's highest honours. The "hit-to-kill" PAC-3 Missile is the world's most capable air and missile defense interceptor. It uses the kinetic energy of "hit-to-kill" intercept to defeat ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction, advanced cruise missiles and aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile, the world's first operationally deployed missile employing hit-to-kill technology, made its combat debut with U.S. Army forces in Iraq in 2003. Sales of the missile to non-US Patriot users commenced this year, with orders from The Netherlands and Japan.
The award was presented at the annual NDIA Missile Defense Division Banquet held in late June at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA.
The NDIA cited the Lockheed Martin team's "exemplary performance in the advancement of hit-to-kill technology that ultimately led to its selection as the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor of choice to improve the ballistic missile defense capability of the United States Army's Patriot Weapon System."
Mike Trotsky, Lockheed Martin vice president of Air and Missile Defense programs, said, " We are extremely proud to accept the NDIA award for the PAC-3 program, and are gratified that our effort to advance missile defense with a hit-to-kill interceptor has been recognized by our peers in the industry."
The PAC-3 Missile was selected as the interceptor for the PAC-3 system upgrade by the Army Systems Acquisition Review Council (ASARC) in February 1994, with confirmation by the Defense Department's Acquisition Board in May 1994. An independent panel reviewed the PAC-3 Missile's effectiveness against Patriot threats, from maneuvering TBMs with warheads of mass destruction to advanced cruise missiles in both natural and electronic countermeasure environments, and ratified the ASARC and DAB selection. The first production delivery of PAC-3 Missiles to the U.S. Army was in September 2001.