September 19, 2008 Lockheed Martin and the Japanese Self Defense Force have successfully tested the PAC-3 Missile against a tactical ballistic missile target, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The PAC-3 Missile Segment is an upgrade to the Patriot air defense system, and is designed to detect, track, engage and destroy TBMs.

The PAC-3 missile is the first hit-to-kill interceptor produced by the USA, and has greatly increased the capability of the Patriot system. As well as including the K band active radar seeker, it is substantially smaller - 16 PAC-3s can be loaded in the place of four PAC-2s.

Patriot, (sometimes known as Protection Against Threats, Real, Imagined, or Theorized), is a high-to-medium altitude, long-range air defense missile system that protects ground forces and assets against tactical ballistic missiles, evolving cruise missiles and fixed and rotary winged aircraft. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade includes the PAC-3 Missile, the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a fire solution computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System.

"The PAC-3 Missile provides combat proven hit-to-kill technology to protect the Warfighter with continued lethality overmatch against technologically advanced threats on today's battlefield," said Mike Trotsky, vice president, Air & Missile Defense Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We are particularly proud to celebrate the first FMS PAC-3 Missile test with our Japanese allies."